Donald Trump set to give evidence again next month in civil fraud trial

27 November 2023, 21:44

Republican presidential candidate and former US president Donald Trump
Trump Clemson South Carolina Football. Picture: PA

The former US president is to return on December 11, defence lawyer Christopher Kise said.

Former US president Donald Trump plans to give evidence again next month in his civil fraud trial, his lawyers said.

He is to return on December 11, defence lawyer Christopher Kise said.

Mr Trump was called to give evidence last time by his adversaries in the lawsuit, the New York attorney general’s office.

This time, the Republican 2024 presidential front-runner’s own lawyers will open the questioning and can ask about a wider range of subjects than they could on cross-examination.

New York attorney general Letitia James
New York attorney general Letitia James (Ted Shaffrey/AP)

Not that those limitations stopped Mr Trump from lambasting the lawsuit and defending himself and his business against attorney general Letitia James’s claims.

Her lawsuit says he and his company misled lenders and insurers by giving them financial statements that greatly inflated his asset values and overall net worth.

“I’m worth billions of dollars more than the financial statements,” Mr Trump insisted in the witness box last time.

“This is the opposite of fraud. … The fraud is her.”

Now finishing its second month, the trial is putting a spotlight on the real estate empire that vaulted Mr Trump into public life and eventually politics.

He maintains that Ms James, a Democrat, is trying to damage his campaign.

At the heart of the case are Mr Trump’s 2014 to 2021 annual “statements of financial condition”, which were used to help secure loans and other deals.

A Trump Organisation executive gave evidence on Monday that the company no longer produces such statements.

The company continues to prepare various audits and other financial reports specific to some of its components, but “there is no roll-up financial statement of the company”, said Mark Hawthorn, the chief operating officer of the Trump Organisation’s hotel arm.

He was not asked why the comprehensive reports had ceased but said they are “not required by any lender, currently, or any constituency”.

Messages seeking comment on the matter were sent to spokespeople for the Trump Organisation.

Mr Hawthorn, a certified public accountant, has worked since 2016 for the company’s Trump Hotels arm.

Donald Trump Jr
Donald Trump Jr (Stefan Jeremiah/AP)

Parent company executive vice president Donald Trump Jr gave evidence earlier that Mr Hawthorn is functioning as the entire Trump Organisation’s chief financial officer, calling him “the finance guy within Trump world now” and saying the CPA “has taken on all those decisional responsibilities”.

But Mr Hawthorn said that statement was wrong, that using “the word ‘all’ makes it incorrect”.

Mr Hawthorn was giving evidence for the defence, which argues that various companies under the Trump Organisation’s umbrella have produced reams of financial documents “that no-one had a problem with”, as lawyer Clifford Robert put it.

A lawyer for Ms James’s office, Andrew Amer, stressed that the suit is about Mr Trump’s overall statements of financial condition, calling the other documents irrelevant.

Mr Trump asserts that his wealth was understated, not overblown, on his financial statements.

He also says the numbers came with disclaimers saying that they were not audited and that others might reach different conclusions about his financial position.

Judge Arthur Engoron, who will decide the verdict in the non-jury trial, has already ruled that Mr Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud.

The current proceeding is to decide remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

Ms James wants the judge to impose more than 300 million dollars (£237 million) in penalties and to ban Mr Trump from doing business in New York – and that is on top of Judge Engoron’s pre-trial order that a receiver take control of some of Mr Trump’s properties.

An appeals court has frozen that order for now.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Germany Russia Ukraine War

Leaked audio part of Russia’s ‘information war’ against West, says Germany

Benjamin Netanyahu

Cracks widen in Netanyahu’s government as top political rival arrives in US

A ceasefire in Gaza could come within next 24 hours as negotiators meet in Egypt to agree deal, Hamas has claimed.

Israel-Hamas talks reportedly break down as Kamala Harris calls for 'immediate ceasefire' in Gaza

Destroyed building

Death toll rises after block of flats destroyed in Russian attack

Star Wars and Gremlins actor, Mark Dodson, has died aged 64 following what sources describe as a ‘massive heart attack’.

Star Wars and Gremlins actor dead following ‘massive heart attack’ aged 64

Haiti Violence

Hundreds of inmates flee after armed gangs storm Haiti’s main prison

A ceasefire in Gaza could come within next 24 hours as negotiators meet in Egypt to agree deal, Hamas has claimed.

Gaza ceasefire could come 'within next 24 hours' as negotiators meet in Egypt to agree deal, Hamas claims

Air strike damage

Mother loses infant twins and husband in Israeli air strike

Scandinavian Airlines plane

Medical plane carrying Norway’s king departs Malaysia

Missing plane anniversary

Malaysia may renew search for flight MH370 one decade on

Doctors stage protest

Doctors stage massive demo in Seoul against medical school admissions policy

Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif elected as Pakistan’s prime minister

Researcher in sea

Coral researchers study how Hawaiian wildfire affected ‘foundation of life’

Satellite image of ship

Ship sinks in Red Sea days after Houthi attack

Election 2024 Trump

Donald Trump wins caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and sweeps Michigan convention

Election 2024 Trump

Trump takes another step towards nomination after Missouri and Michigan wins