O New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit accuses Trump and his company of inflating his wealth in statements that went to banks, insurance companies and others.
With accountant Donald Bender on the witness stand, state lawyers sought to show that Trump and others at his company had complete control over the preparation of the financial statements.
Bender testified Tuesday that the Trump Organization did not always provide all the information needed to produce the documents.
Trump, who plans to testify later, denies any wrongdoing and his defense continued today to blame Bender for any flaws in the statements.
Attorney Jesus M. Suarez noted that the accounting firm told clients it might need help from experts to value assets such as artwork, jewelry and some types of securities in closely held businesses and real estate.
Suarez later showed a video of pretrial testimony in which Bender said he did not remember whether he consulted any experts when preparing Trump’s financial statements.
Earlier, during questioning, Bender acknowledged Tuesday that he missed a change in information about the size of the former president’s Trump Tower apartment.
The lawyer described it as a huge mistake, telling the accountant that Trump’s company and employees were “going through hell” because he lost the information.
Bender responded that it was a mistake by the Trump Organization that was never understood.
Trump, the Republican front-runner in the 2024 presidential race, is voluntarily taking time off the campaign trail to attend the trial.
Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump committed fraud by inflating the values of valuable assets and the decision could, if upheld on appeal, cost the former president control of his skyscraper and some other properties.
Trump today branded James incompetent, portraying her as part of a broader Democratic effort to weaken his prospects for 2024 and calling the trial “a disgrace.”
Trump has frequently vented in the courtroom hallways and on social media about the trial, James and Engoron, also a Democrat.
But after Trump attacked Engoron’s top legal assistant on social media on Tuesday, the judge imposed a limited gag order, ordering all participants in the trial not to launch personal attacks against court officials.
The judge told Trump to delete the “derogatory, false and personally identifying post,” and the former president took it down.
Read Also: Trump’s allies in the race for leadership of the House of Representatives
All News. By the Minute.
Seventh consecutive year Consumer Choice for Online Press.
Download our free App.