ontario news watch
United States

Eric Trump returns to the witness stand in the family business’ civil fraud trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Trump returned to the witness stand Friday to testify at the civil fraud trial accusing his father of exaggerating his wealth and the value of his assets to deceive banks and insurers.

It’s the second day of testimony from Eric Trump, who helps run the former Republican president’s real estate empire that is now threatened by the lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, testified on Thursday that he wasn’t involved with financial statements at the heart of the case. James’ office says those documents were fraudulently exaggerated to secure loans and make deals.

Another executive of his father’s company testified that Eric was on a video call about his father’s financial statement as recently as 2021. But the son insisted he had no recollection, telling the court: “I’m on a thousand calls a day.”

Donald Trump and other defendants — including sons Donald Jr. and Eric — deny any wrongdoing. The former president has called the case a “sham,” a “scam,” and “a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time.”

The civil lawsuit is separate from four criminal cases the former president is facing while he campaigns to retake the White House in 2024.

The former president, who has periodically appeared in court to watch the trial, is expected to follow on the witness stand on Monday. His daughter Ivanka Trump is also scheduled to testify next week after an appeals court late Thursday denied her request to delay her testimony.

The Trumps are being summoned to the stand by James’ office, but defense lawyers will also have a chance to question them and can call them back as part of the defense case later.

Judge Arthur Engoron has ordered that a court-appointed receiver take control of some Trump companies, putting the future oversight of Trump Tower and other marquee properties in question. But an appeals court has blocked enforcement of that aspect of Engoron’s ruling for now.

Jennifer Peltz, The Associated Press