Trump legal news brief: Live updates as Trump takes the witness stand

Former President takes the witness stand in the $250 million financial fraud lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General that will decide the penalties Trump, his two eldest sons and their family business must pay after being found liable for years of over-inflating the value of their assets.

New York financial fraud

Trump takes the stand

Key players: Former President Donald Trump, Judge Arthur Engoron, Trump Org. executive vice presidents and , Trump Org. CFO Allen Wisselberg, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Trump lawyer Christopher Kise, N.Y. AG lawyer Kevin Wallace

  • After being sworn in, Trump is questioned about the appointment of his sons and Wisselberg as trustees of a trust established for his benefit, USA Today reported.

  • Trump calls Don Jr., a “smart” and “very honorable guy.”

  • Trump boasts that he doesn’t think any real estate developer ever low-balled the value of his assets more than he has. Engoron issues a rebuke, telling Trump not to editorialize: “Mr. Kise, can you control your client? This is not a political rally, this is a courtroom,” Engoron says.

  • In another clash with Trump, Engoron vents: “In addition to the answers being non-responsive, they’re repetitive,” the Associated Press reported.

  • While Trump downplayed his own involvement in the preparation of financial statements James says were riddled with falsehoods, he did concede he had some role. “I would look at them, I would see them, and maybe on some occasions, I would have some suggestions,” he testified.

Why it matters: Engoron has already found the defendants liable for financial fraud, and the penalties he may impose based on Trump’s testimony could threaten the future of the family’s business empire in New York.

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