Donald Trump Jr takes stand to continue testimony at family fraud trial – live | Donald Trump

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Donald Trump Jr takes stand for second day of testimony

Donald Trump Jr. has taken the stand.

MSNBC’s legal analyst Lisa Rubin reports that Trump was shown an email dating back to 2017 from a Forbes reporter to Trump Organization’s chief legal officer Alan Garten about a “fact checking inquiry,” including questions about the purported 33K square feet Trump Tower penthouse.

Now Colleen Faherty is showing Jr. a new document, a 3/1/17 email from a Noah Kirsch from Forbes to Alan Garten with a “fact checking inquiry” that includes multiple questions about the Trump Tower penthouse, which Trump had represented to Forbes consisted of 33k sq ft.

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

(Herein lies the trap. Trump not only received the inquiry, but the statement of financial condition as of 6/30/16, which was finalized 9 days later and for which he was responsible as the trustee, includes a valuation of the apartment still based on that 33k sq ft.)

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

Trump Jr said that he has “no specific recollection” of following up on the inquiry, reports Rubin. She adds that he characterized the email as containing an “insane amount” of stuff.

Trump Jr. says he has “no specific recollection” of following up on Forbes’ inquiry, which in an email he characterized as containing an “insane amount” of stuff.

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

Key events

Donald Trump Jr is shown a certification he signed on October 31, 2017 to Deutsche Bank, Adam Klasfeld from the The Messenger reports, adding that it attached a statement of financial condition.

In response to a question on Trump Jr signing the certification intending that the bank would rely on it, Trump Jr said that he would be fine with it, Klasfeld reports.

Don Jr. is shown another certification to Deutsche Bank that he signed on Oct. 31, 2017.

It also attached a statement of financial condition.

Q: You signed the certification intending that the bank would rely on it.

A: I would be fine with them relying on it.

— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 2, 2023

Upon being repeatedly asked the question, Trump Jr said, “It’s not as simple as ‘yes or no.’”

He then added that he assumed that banks would perform their own due diligence, Klasfeld reports.

Don Jr. said that he assumed banks would perform their own due diligence.

— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 2, 2023

Here is the lengthy email inquiry from then Forbes reporter Noah Kirsch that was sent to Trump Organization’s chief legal officer Alan Garten in March 2017.

The email included dozens of questions surrounding various topics including the Trump Organization, the Trump Tower penthouse, as well as the Trump Organization’s business dealing in various countries including the Dominican Republica, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Panama.

Lauren Aratani

Lauren Aratani

Here is the Guardian’s Lauren Aratani with more details from the courthouse on the series of documents being presented to Donald Trump Jr:

Prosecutor Colleen Faherty started off the day by showing a series of documents to Donald Trump Jr, including an email that a Forbes fact-checking sent to the Trump Organization that was eventually forwarded to Trump Jr.

In the email, Forbes pointed out that the Trump Organization had told the magazine that Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower was around 33,000 sq ft, but Forbes cited documents that showed the apartment was actually just under 11,000 sq ft.

“Insane amount of stuff there in regards to the Forbes inquiry,” Trump Jr wrote to other Trump Organization executives in response to the inquiry.

Faherty then pulled up a letter the Trump Organization sent to their accounting firm, Mazars USA, who was compiling the 2016 statement of financial condition.

In the letter, the Trump Organization had affirmed their responsibility of “fair presentation” in accordance to generally accepted account principles, or GAAP. Trump Jr repeated his assertion that he relied on Mazars to provide them the information and that the accounting firm was “intimately involved” with the preparation of the statement.

Donald Trump Jr. sits in court during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 02, 2023 in New York City.
Donald Trump Jr. sits in court during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 02, 2023 in New York City. Photograph: Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr takes stand for second day of testimony

Donald Trump Jr. has taken the stand.

MSNBC’s legal analyst Lisa Rubin reports that Trump was shown an email dating back to 2017 from a Forbes reporter to Trump Organization’s chief legal officer Alan Garten about a “fact checking inquiry,” including questions about the purported 33K square feet Trump Tower penthouse.

Now Colleen Faherty is showing Jr. a new document, a 3/1/17 email from a Noah Kirsch from Forbes to Alan Garten with a “fact checking inquiry” that includes multiple questions about the Trump Tower penthouse, which Trump had represented to Forbes consisted of 33k sq ft.

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

(Herein lies the trap. Trump not only received the inquiry, but the statement of financial condition as of 6/30/16, which was finalized 9 days later and for which he was responsible as the trustee, includes a valuation of the apartment still based on that 33k sq ft.)

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

Trump Jr said that he has “no specific recollection” of following up on the inquiry, reports Rubin. She adds that he characterized the email as containing an “insane amount” of stuff.

Trump Jr. says he has “no specific recollection” of following up on Forbes’ inquiry, which in an email he characterized as containing an “insane amount” of stuff.

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

Here are some images coming through the newswires of the Manhattan courthouse where Donald Trump Jr and his brother Eric have arrived, as well as New York attorney general Letitia James:

Donald Trump Jr. (2nd L) and Eric Trump (3rd L) arrive at New York Supreme Court November 2, 2023, for the fraud trial of the Trump Organization.
Donald Trump Jr. (2nd L) and Eric Trump (3rd L) arrive at New York Supreme Court November 2, 2023, for the fraud trial of the Trump Organization. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Lawyer Alina Habba arrives for the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.
Lawyer Alina Habba arrives for the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/AP
Donald Trump Jr. arrives at New York Supreme Court, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in New York.
Donald Trump Jr. arrives at New York Supreme Court, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, in New York. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP
New York Attorney General Letitia James arrives for the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023.
New York Attorney General Letitia James arrives for the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/AP
Lauren Aratani

Lauren Aratani

Here is the latest dispatch from the Guardian’s Lauren Aratani who is back inside the Manhattan courthouse to bring us key moments from today’s hearing:

As much of a draw Donald Trump Jr being on the witness stand may seem, I’m inside the courthouse this morning, and the media presence – like yesterday – is much thinner than on days when Donald Trump shows up to court himself. Instead, the long lines of people waiting to get in are people who were called for jury duty. Ultimately, it’s the former president who seems to be what attracts all the cameras.

And that’s no surprise. Trump Jr taking the stand yesterday was his first appearance in court. As much as he enjoys mimicking his father in making incendiary political statements, he has not been making much of a show outside of the courtroom.

Even inside of it, Trump Jr has shown little of the hostility his father has shown in front of the judge. Trump Jr has been amiable on the stand so far, though he talks quickly and has claimed to not recall much when asked specific, potentially incriminating questions.

But much of his testimony so far has been slowly establishing the role that he played within the Trump Organization, serving as a trustee on his father’s trust and playing a key role in making licensing deals overseas. Prosecutors today will likely hone in on trying to get Trump Jr to respond to financial documents at the center of the case, though it is unclear how cooperative Trump Jr will be.

It appears Trump Sr won’t be showing up to court again today, even as his eldest son continues to take the witness stand and his second son, Eric Trump, is expected to follow him right after. The former president is scheduled to testify on Monday.

Donald Trump Jr and brother Eric arrive at Manhattan courthouse

Donald Trump Jr and his brother Eric are already at the Manhattan courthouse where both are expected to take the stand today, MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin reports.

NEW: Good morning from the New York civil fraud trial against Donald Trump, where Don Jr. and Eric just breezed by me in the security line. The trial day starts at 10 am again. I’ll be here & on @msnbc all day.

— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 2, 2023

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's sons and co-defendants Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump walk to attend the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 2, 2023.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s sons and co-defendants Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump walk to attend the Trump Organization civil fraud trial, in New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 2, 2023. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Following yesterday’s hearing, New York’s attorney general Letitia James released a video in which she recapped the hearing.

“Today, we heard testimony from an expert witness who specializes in finance, banking and large-scale transactions. He reviewed and analyzed some of the loans that the Trump Organization was able to obtain by using Donald Trump’s fraudulent statements of financial condition,” James said.

“By lying about his net worth, Donald Trump and the Trump Organization were able to get these loans for much better terms than they should have…

We then began our questioning of Donald Trump Jr who claimed to have very little understanding of the accounting and legal mechanics of the family business. But we know he’s been involved in running the Trump Organization for a long time,” she added.

Donald Trump lied about his net worth on his statements of financial condition to get loans for much better terms than he should have.

It’s that simple. pic.twitter.com/dYNhsxzxNa

— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) November 1, 2023

Donald Trump Jr testimony set to continue as Eric also expected to appear

Donald Trump Jr is set to return to the witness stand today as a defendant listed in his father’s $250 million civil fraud case.

The case is brought forth by New York attorney general Letitia James. James is accusing Donald Trump and several top executives – including his eldest sons – from the Trump Organization of fraudulently inflating the value of the former president’s properties to secure better loans from banks.

In addition to Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump has been named as a defendant and is set to make an appearance today.

During yesterday’s hearing, Trump Jr downplayed his involvement in the Trump Organization’s financial statements.

In response to multiple questions about the roles that he, his father, and Trump’s former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg had as trustess of the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, Trump. Jr replied, “I don’t recall.”

Following yesterday’s hearing, James released a video saying, “We know [Donald Trump Jr] has been involved in running the Trump Organization for a long time. Tomorrow, we’ll finish our questioning of Donald Trump Jr and will hear from his brother Eric Trump. And we will continue to show their involvement in the family’s fraudulent business practices.”

Stay tuned as we bring you the latest updates.

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