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Trump testifies Monday in $250M lawsuit alleging he lied about wealth

By Jake Beardslee · November 6, 2023

In brief…

  • Trump testifying in civil fraud trial threatening his real estate empire
  • AG alleges Trump falsified financial statements for over a decade
  • Judge already found Trump liable for fraud before trial started
  • Ivanka Trump will testify this week after AG's case finishes
  • Trial could end around Christmas after Trump team presents defense
Former President Donald Trump will testify in a civil fraud trial in New York on Monday that threatens his real estate holdings over allegations he falsified financial statements.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Former President Donald Trump is set to take the stand on Monday in the civil fraud trial brought by the New York Attorney General that threatens the fate of his real estate empire. Trump will testify in Manhattan Supreme Court in the $250 million lawsuit accusing him of inflating his net worth to receive better loan and insurance terms.

The trial has included testimony from Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who said they were not involved in preparing their father’s annual financial statements that the AG alleges Trump falsified for over a decade. Justice Arthur Engoron already found Trump liable for fraud before the trial started. Engoron ruled that Trump’s financial filings between 2011-2021 contained “unquestionably false” claims, like saying his penthouse was 30,000 square feet when it was closer to 10,000 square feet.

Engoron ordered Trump’s businesses in New York to be dissolved over the fraud. The AG agreed to pause that pending appeal. Six claims remain in the trial, including conspiracy charges where the AG must prove Trump intended to falsify records and defraud insurers.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen claimed Trump told him to manipulate assets to reach desired totals, but admitted under cross-examination that Trump did not explicitly direct him to inflate valuations. Trump will likely be asked about meetings with Cohen on falsifying records.

Trump already briefly testified when he was fined $10,000 for speaking about the case in violation of a gag order. His daughter Ivanka Trump will testify this week. After the AG’s case finishes, Trump’s lawyers can present their defense. The trial may wrap around Christmas.