Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former President Donald Trump, is facing a credibility crisis as he takes the stand for the defense in the civil fraud trial against his father in New York.
The trial, which began on November 1, is about whether Trump and his company inflated the value of their assets to get loans and tax benefits, and deflated them to pay lower taxes. The lawsuit was filed by the New York attorney general’s office, which is seeking to recover millions of dollars in damages and penalties from the defendants.
Trump Jr., who is the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, testified on Friday that he had no direct involvement in the financial statements that are at the center of the lawsuit, and that he relied on the accountants and the CFO Allen Weisselberg, who is also facing criminal charges in a separate case.
Trump Jr. also testified that he did not know about a letter that his father sent to Forbes magazine in 2011, claiming that he had a net worth of $7 billion, which included $3 billion for his brand value. The letter was used by the plaintiffs to show that Trump inflated his brand value to boost his ranking on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world.
However, Trump Jr.’s testimony may backfire if it contradicts or differs too much from what he has already said under oath in his previous deposition in 2019, which was played in court on Thursday.
The defense is expected to start presenting its case on Monday, and call more witnesses, including Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and possibly Donald Trump himself, who has denied any wrongdoing and called the lawsuit a political witch hunt.
– Donald Trump Jr.’s Original Testimony Could Backfire As He Retakes Stand, Newsweek, November 13, 2023
– Trump fraud trial: Defense scheduled to start presenting its case Monday, MSN, November 13, 2023
– Donald Trump Jr. Is Returning to the Stand in New York Civil Fraud Trial, MSN, November 13, 2023
– ‘I wasn’t involved’: Donald Trump Jr. testifies in civil fraud trial of his father, Politico, November 1, 2023