Donald Trump Appears In Court For Fraud Trial, Lawyer Attacks Case: 'Made A Fortune Literally About Being Right About Real Estate'

Zinger Key Points
  • Donald Trump made a court appearance Monday for the start of a civil fraud trial.
  • The trial is one of several the former president faces in 2023 and 2024.

Former President Donald Trump made an appearance in a New York court Monday for the beginning of a civil fraud trial related to his business dealings.

Here’s the latest and what’s next in the trial.

What Happened: A civil lawsuit against Trump and his businesses is one of several court cases entangling the former president as he campaigns for the 2024 presidential election.

Judge Arthur Engoron recently ruled that fraud was committed and ordered several of Trump’s business licenses to be rescinded as punishment.

Engoron said in a ruling that this is the real world and not a fantasy where values can be made up.

The ruling by Engoron was on a key claim in a lawsuit brought against Trump and his companies by the state of New York.

A civil fraud trial related to six other claims opened Monday with Trump in attendance alongside several of his relatives.

In court, Trump’s attorney Chris Kise fought off the fraud claims in an opening statement, according to a CNN live report.

“President Trump has made billions of dollars building one of the most successful real estate empires in the world,” Kise said. “He has made a fortune literally about being right about real estate.”

Evidence in the trial will show that Trump and companies complied with regulatory requirements on financial statements and asset valuations, Kise said. 

In the opening statement for the state of New York, attorney Kevin Wallace said that the defendants including Trump conspired to commit fraud and repeat the act through financial statements.

“While it may be one thing to exaggerate for Forbes magazine … you cannot do it while conducting business in the state of New York,” Wallace said.

The attorney said Trump should be barred from doing business in the state of New York after convincing banks to take unnecessary risks of “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“Year after year, loan after loan, the defendants misrepresented Mr. Trump’s net worth to maintain those favorable interest rates.”

Wallace played video clips of depositions that included Trump, his former chief financial officer Alan Weisselberg and from his children Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Trump’s lawyers objected to the videos, but the judge overruled the objection.

Related Link: Trump Loses Support From Republican Voters, But Holds 43-Point Lead 

What’s Next: New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in penalties against Trump and his companies and a ban on the former president being able to do business in the state. 

The civil fraud trial could run until Dec. 22, 2023, according to the judge.

Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric are expected to be called the witness stand, as is the former president, according to the New York Times. Trump’s two older sons are codefendants in the case. Trump’s daughter Ivanka could also be asked to testify. Ivanka was a co-defendant before a court of appeals dismissed her case.

A witness list from the state of New York includes 28 names. According to a report, the former president will be the second to last to testify if he is called to the stand. The last scheduled witness is an expert on damages.

Trump’s legal team has a list of 127 witnesses that could be used in the case.

Along with Monday’s civil fraud trial, Trump faces charges related to the 2020 election, hush money paid to an adult actress and the handling of classified documents.

Read Next: Melania Trump Renegotiates Prenup With Donald Trump For Third Time

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsLegalTop StoriesGeneral2024 election2024 Presidential ElectionDonald TrumpDonald Trump JrEric TrumpIvanka TrumpLetitia Jamesnew york
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