7-year-long legal battle over whether he defrauded investors in his former Trump University.
On Monday, the former President of the United States, Donald Trump, will take the witness stand in a New York court to provide testimony in a 7-year legal dispute regarding his alleged defrauding of investors through his previous venture, Trump University.
This could potentially determine the future of his company.
During his initial testimony, Trump consistently deviated from the questions asked by a lawyer representing New York Attorney General Letitia James. He also defended the property valuations in question, despite other co-defendants attempting to distance themselves from the financial statements.
In a conversation, he stated, “The value of my assets far exceeds the amount listed in the financial report. Hence, your argument is invalid.”
James’ office has filed a civil lawsuit against Trump, his two eldest sons, the Trump Organization, and multiple executives. The suit claims that they engaged in a fraudulent scheme for several years, and that Trump and his co-defendants purposely inflated the value of the company’s assets and Trump’s personal wealth in order to secure more favorable loan and insurance terms. The defendants have denied any wrongdoing, and Trump has repeatedly accused James of having political motives for pursuing the case.
The judge has prohibited the use of TV cameras to record the trial, resulting in the former president’s questioning not being broadcasted live. CBS News has correspondents present to observe his testimony and will continue to provide updates on any new developments.
Trump arrived at around 10 a.m. and gave a short speech before going into the courtroom, once again expressing his disapproval of the trial.
Trump expressed his disapproval of the situation, stating that he will be dealing with political operatives. He also described it as a sad situation for the country.
James anticipated that Trump would resort to insults, provocation, and divisive rhetoric outside of the courtroom. However, he emphasized that what truly holds weight are the facts and evidence, which cannot be distorted or manipulated.
During his testimony, Trump referred to James as “a political hack” later on.
Trump stated that this is a politically motivated attack and he believes that she should feel ashamed of her actions, while James observed from the audience.
Wallace, the attorney from the office of the attorney general, began the inquiry by inquiring Trump about a trust he created to oversee his possessions prior to assuming the presidency. Upon leaving office in 2021, he regained control of the trust, but then gave it up again in July 2021. He stated that he did so due to mounting legal pressure from multiple sources.
Trump stated that he was being attacked by numerous Democratic district attorneys, Attorneys General, and U.S. attorneys, all of whom had a negative attitude towards him. He also expressed his belief in his son’s ability to handle his assets.
Following a pause, Wallace resumed his inquiry by asking about the appraisals of both his personal properties and those owned by his company. These included Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower in Manhattan, and a New York estate called Seven Springs. Trump stood by the financial documents in question, stating that even the values that were deemed exaggerated were still undervalued. He also expressed his reluctance to sell certain properties due to their high worth.
In the end, Trump stood by his statements despite James’ office accusing him of exaggerating his net worth by billions. Trump pointed out that the documents contained a disclaimer that released him from any responsibility for any false information.
According to Trump, the disclaimer states that if there is an error or issue, it should not be trusted. He also noted that these disclaimers typically hold up in court, with the exception of this particular court.
Trump argued that past overvaluations were justified due to the increase in property values over time, a viewpoint that Engoron had previously disagreed with. When discussing property values in 2014, Trump stated that if those values were projected to 2021, they would still be considered low.
During the conversation about Mar-a-Lago, the club in Florida where Trump lives, Trump showed a lot of energy. In Engoron’s ruling before the trial, it was found that Trump was guilty of fraud and that the local assessor valued Mar-a-Lago at $18 million. However, Trump’s documents stated that the value was in the hundreds of millions. In his testimony, Trump claimed that he believes the property is actually worth $1.5 billion. The property has limitations on its use and cannot be used as a residence, according to experts.
Before, CBS News was informed. limits its value.
Trump stated that he accepted the restrictions on the property for tax reasons, recognizing that it would reduce the amount of taxes owed. He then presented an example where someone could classify their residence as a club in order to minimize their tax expenses.
“Having a club would offer numerous benefits,” remarked Trump. “The most strategic approach would be to establish a club with a single member.”
Afterwards, he debated the validity of appraising his Scottish golf club as though he had constructed approximately 2,500 new homes on it. However, this is not the case as he has not built any and is restricted by his contract to less than 1,500.
“When I reach my old age, I plan on visiting there to construct the most breathtaking creation we’ve ever laid eyes on,” stated the individual who is currently 77 years old.
At various times, Trump gestured with his hands and even produced a folded sheet of paper that he claimed was connected to the disclaimer.
He asked Engoron, “May I read this, Your Honor? I am interested.” Engoron replied, “Not at the moment.”
“I am surprised, I am surprised,” Trump responded.
Later that day, Trump stated that a loan associated with Chicago real estate had already been “gone for a long time.” When asked about this, he admitted that it had actually been paid off “just recently.”
Wallace asked, “Do you know that the loan for Trump Chicago was paid in full last week?”
During his testimony on November 2nd and 3rd, Trump mentioned that his son, Eric Trump, had recommended the property in question.
The fraud trial
he has agreed to pay $25 million to settle
The civil suit against Trump alleges that he was the main recipient of a fraudulent plan to falsely inflate his wealth, and he has agreed to pay $25 million in order to resolve the issue.
The judge has determined that Trump, his two adult sons, and their company obtained unfairly advantageous loan and insurance conditions, which are considered highly valuable.
After conducting an investigation, it was found that the plan resulted in hundreds of millions of profits that were not rightfully earned.
The case is still ongoing regarding additional charges, such as altering official documents, collaborating in illegal activities, and committing insurance fraud. Additionally, the Trumps are required to return all unlawfully obtained profits to the state.
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump
Last week, there was a situation involving Ivanka Trump.
planned to testify
On Wednesday, the woman was originally listed as a defendant in the lawsuit but the accusations against her have since been dropped.
rejected upon further review
because of the time limit set by the law.
On Monday, Trump testified for the first time regarding fraud in the trial. However, this was not his first appearance in court or his first time being questioned on the stand. The previous time Trump was present in the courtroom was on October 25, when Judge Arthur Engoron presided.
Instructed him to take the witness stand.
To establish whether Trump had breached a restricted restriction on speech in the previous day, when he seemed to mention the judge’s assistant during his conversation with the media.
The Trump organization has consistently pointed the finger at their previous external accountants, Mazars USA, for any errors in their financial statements, which reflect a momentary overview of Trump’s assets. Last week, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump reaffirmed this defense in their testimony, stating that they had confidence in both their internal and external accounting teams.
However, in October, the previous accountant from Mazars stated that their company simply organized large amounts of financial data that was given to them by the Trumps and their business.
The legal action aims to obtain $250 million and penalties aimed at restricting the Trumps’ business activities in New York. This includes permanently preventing Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump from holding positions as executives or board members in any New York business.
Reporting was contributed by Katrina Kaufman.