Updated Nov 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump family testimony continues in N.Y. civil fraud trial

Eric Trump sits in court during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 02, 2023 in New York City.

Eric Trump sits in court during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Nov. 2 in New York City. Photo: Hiroko Masuike-Pool/Getty Images

Two of former President Trump's sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, testified Thursday in the New York civil fraud trial probing the family's business practices.

Driving the news: Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., took the witness stand for about three hours over his two days of testimony in the fraud trial, CNN reports.

  • Eric Trump, another executive at the Trump Organization, took the stand on Thursday afternoon following his older brother.

Zoom in: Donald Trump Jr. testified on Thursday that his accountants, and not him, prepared the financial statements for the Trump Organization, which are at the heart of the $250 million lawsuit filed by Attorney General Letitia James last year.

  • He told reporters after his testimony that he thought "it went really well, if we were actually dealing with logic and reason the way business is conducted," CNN reports.
  • He added that "unfortunately the AG has brought forth a case that is purely a political persecution."
  • Donald Trump Jr. also testified on Wednesday that he was not involved in preparing financial statements for the Trump Organization.

Of note: Eric Trump during his Thursday testimony sought to differentiate between general financial records created for the Trump Organization and statements of financial condition, which are central to the lawsuit.

  • "What seems to not be registering is the difference between sending things used for financials and sending things used for a statement of financial condition," he said, per CNN.

The big picture: Along with his father and brother, Eric Trump is named in the lawsuit accusing Trump and members of his family of committing financial fraud over the course of a decade.

  • Trump has voluntarily attended several days of the trial at the Manhattan courthouse, where he has criticized prosecutors and Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the trial.
  • The judge issued a gag order on Trump after he made a post on his Truth Social account attacking the judge's law clerk. Engoron has fined Trump twice for violating the order in the case to date.

Between the lines: Trump slammed the judge overseeing the case on his Truth Social, writing on Thursday, "so sad to see my sons being PERSECUTED in a political Witch Hunt by this out of control, publicity seeking, New York State Judge, on a case that should have NEVER been brought."

What to watch: Ivanka Trump, who had an appeal to delay her testimony rejected by a New York court on Thursday night, and the former president are expected to testify next week.

Go deeper: Trump's unusual New York campout

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional information throughout.

Go deeper