Donald Trump Jr. to testify second time in father’s civil fraud trial


By Jack Queen

(Reuters) – Donald Trump Jr. is set to testify again on Monday in his father’s civil fraud trial, this time called by the defense to field questions about the former U.S. president’s family real estate business.

Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is accused along with his two adult sons and 10 of his companies of inflating his net worth by as much as $2.2 billion to secure better financing.

The lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James seeks at least $250 million in damages as well as restrictions that would effectively bar Trump and his adult sons from New York’s real estate industry.

Donald Jr. has already been called as a witness by the attorney general’s office, along with his father and brother Eric Trump. His sister Ivanka Trump also testified but is not a defendant.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and accused James, an elected Democrat, and the judge overseeing the case of political bias and “election interference.”

During defiant and rambling testimony last week, Trump acknowledged inaccuracies on his financial statements but said the discrepancies were not relevant to the banks that used them to price his loans.

Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump said they were not involved in preparing their father’s financial statements and left bookkeeping at the Trump Organization to accountants.

The case is largely about damages, as Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his company fraudulently inflated those asset values.

Engoron has ordered the dissolution of companies that control pillars of Trump’s real estate portfolio, including Trump Tower in Manhattan. That ruling is on hold pending appeal.

Trump faces a maelstrom of legal troubles as he campaigns to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the 2024 election, though none have diminished his commanding lead over Republican rivals.

He is a defendant in four criminal trials, including two stemming from his attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss. He has pleaded not guilty in all four cases.

(Reporting by Jack Queen; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis)

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