Donald Trump Jr. told a judge he wasn’t involved in preparing financial statements for his father’s real estate company that are at the center of New York state’s civil fraud trial.
“The accountants worked on it,” the eldest son of former president Donald Trump testified Wednesday in a Manhattan courtroom. “That’s what we paid them for.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James has accused Trump and his two eldest sons in a lawsuit of inflating asset values across the family’s real estate empire by billions of dollars, reaping $250 million in “illegal profits” from 2011 to 2021. The former president has denied wrongdoing, though the judge in the case has already found him liable for fraud.
According to the state’s suit, Donald Trump Jr., 45, is “involved in all aspects of Trump Organization property development, from deal evaluation, analysis and pre-development planning to construction, branding, marketing, operations, sales and leasing.”
As a senior vice president, he oversees an extensive real estate portfolio and serves as the sole Trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust. He is a defendant in the case along with this father and his brother, Eric.
Under questioning from a lawyer for the state, Donald Trump Jr. was shown a 2017 statement of financial condition for his father which indicated that, as a trustee, he would have been responsible in the preparation of the document.
But he disavowed any involvement, insisting the document was the responsibility of the Trump Organization accountants Mazars USA LLC.
“I wasn’t working on the document,” said Trump, who serves as an executive vice president at the company. The accountants at Mazars “had an incredibly intimate knowledge and I relied upon them,” he said.
The document indicated that Mazars had prepared the figures based on information provided by trustees for the trust, where Donald Trump Jr. was a trustee at the time.
“Did you work on this statement of financial condition?” asked Colleen Faherty, a lawyer for the state. “I did not,” the younger Trump said.
Faherty asked Trump if his brother had any authority over his work between 2011 to 2017.
“We were on similar planes but we had our own silos,” Donald Trump Jr. said.
He’s expected to resume testimony Thursday, followed by Eric Trump. The former president is slated to take the stand on Monday.
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