On Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. testified as a witness in the real estate fraud trial facing his father.
In doing so, he became the first child of former President Donald Trump to testify in the case, which is seeking $250 million in damages as well as a ban in New York for the Trump Organization.
Trump Jr., who is the oldest child of the former president, said during testimony that he didn’t recall whether he had ever worked on any of the financial statements that concerned his father’s liabilities and assets.
In the case, the office for New York Attorney General Letitia James has said that the financial statements from the Trump Organization from 2011 through 2021 were “fraudulent and misleading,” and that they included a “staggering” amount of asset valuations that were highly inflated.
Trump Jr. described himself as being the “point person” on having many of the hotel management deals for the company done from the years of 2011 through 2020. He said that he played a key role in the licensing deals that allowed third-party entities to open a hotel and put the Trump name on it.
On the accounting issues, though, Trump Jr. said he had relied on others’ expertise.
The former president’s other adult son, Eric, was expected to testify in the case this week as well. Next week, both the former president himself and his daughter Ivanka Trump are expected to take the stand.
The testimony from all of these family members could ultimately have an impact on the penalties that Judge Arthur Engoron decides to order against the former president and his company.
Late in September, Engoron had ruled that Trump defrauded insurers and banks when he inflated his assets as well as exaggerated his net worth on paperwork that was used to obtain financing and complete deals.
Trump Jr. is responsible for overseeing the company’s full property portfolio, as well as for the commercial leasing at Trump Tower and some other properties, the state’s lawsuit has claimed.
During the early part of Trump Jr.’s testimony, James actually posted on the social media site X:
“Donald Trump Jr. started testifying in our trial against him, Donald Trump, and the Trump Organization. Trump Jr. has long been involved in his family’s fraudulent business operations.”
In their suit, James’s office has requested that the judge order the defendants in the case to forfeit every financial benefit that they received from their fraud scheme. She estimated that to be worth roughly $250 million.
The New York AG is also asking that all Trump family members be barred from holding any significant position in a corporation in New York.
The case that was put against Ivanka Trump was already tossed out by an appeals court, which ruled that there had been too much time gone between when she was last involved in the family business.
Despite that, Engoron said she had to testify in the case, pursuant to the subpoena the state had issued her.