Former President Donald Trump is testifying in Manhattan for New York Attorney General Letitia James’s civil case involving him and his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
While testifying, Trump, wearing a navy suit, royal blue tie, and light blue shirt, seemed unhappy and stressed. Prosecutors asked about his involvement in financial statements that valued his net worth and whether he instructed those responsible to exaggerate the numbers. He also faced questions regarding the reporting structure of the Trump Organization and whether he intended for banks and insurers to rely on the allegedly fraudulent financial documents.
According to Trump, he believed he had a higher value than what his financial statements showed. His belief is that there is no case against him. He mentioned the disclaimer clause, which continues indefinitely, but Kevin Wallace, the lawyer for James’ office, disagreed.
Trump Jr. and Eric Trump testified last week, while Trump had to take the stand to testify over a gag order violation in October for referencing law clerk Allison Greenfield. New York County Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron determined that Trump had violated the gag order for the second instance.
Trump seemed sullen from the start, describing the case as political warfare and drawing comparisons to situations in banana republics. He seemed unhappy and anxious as he walked towards the stand, lifting his right hand for the oath and taking his place in the witness box.
Trump’s testimony marked the second appearance in court during the ongoing trial, as he expressed his belief that the Attorney General involved is firmly against him and is attempting to impose severe consequences, including the corporate death penalty, not only on him but also on his family.
Engoron issued a gag order against Trump and ordered all counsel from making any public statements regarding confidential communications between him and his staff. If the legal team fails to comply with the order, they will face severe penalties.
During the civil fraud trial, Trump’s testimony became heated as he repeatedly criticized the judge. The trial is a bench trial, indicating no jury, and Engoron will determine the penalties for Trump and his company. Trump’s primary defense is that his financial statements contained clear disclaimers and were not intended for banks or insurers.