Eric Trump Testifies He Wasn’t Aware of His Father’s Financial Statements, But Emails Show Some Involvement

Former President Donald Trump's son and co-defendant, Donald Trump Jr., will appear during the Trump Organizations civil fraud trial, Thursday, November 2, 2023, at the New York Supreme Court in New York.  (Shannon Stapleton/Pool Photo via AP)

(Shannon Stapleton/Associated Press)

Eric Trump Testifies He Wasn’t Aware of His Father’s Financial Statements, But Emails Show Some Involvement

Associated press

November 2, 2023

Eric Trump, one of two sons charged with running Donald Trump’s real estate empire, vowed Thursday that he was never involved in or aware of financial statements that state attorneys say fraudulently showed the ex-president’s wealth. inflated the value of the family business.

But then a lawyer for the state of New York

lawyer

Unearthing decade-old emails in which a fellow Trump Organization executive asked him for information needed to complete one of his father’s financial statements, the irritated son tried to clear things up.

We are a large organization, a huge real estate organization. Yes, I’m pretty sure I understand that we have financial statements. Absolutely, Eric Trump tested it. But he insisted: I was not involved and never worked on my father’s financial situation.

Eric Trump followed brother Donald Trump Jr. to the witness stand Thursday at the family’s civil fraud trial in New York, a prelude to their father’s planned testimony

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Monday. Both sons are executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.

Trump Jr. answered questions for a second day and also revealed that gaming giant Ballys recently paid his company $60 million to buy the right to operate a public golf course in New York City. The terms of the lease transfer for the former Trump Golf Links Ferry Point in the Bronx had not previously been disclosed.

The sale came as the city sought to end Donald Trump’s involvement with the golf course following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Until this year the company managed the 18-hole golf course, now called Ballys Golf Links at Ferry Point.

New York Att

orne

j. Gen.

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Letitia James is suing Donald Trump, his company and top executives including Eric and Donald Jr., accusing them of inflating the ex-president’s net worth on the annual financial statements given to banks, insurers and others to make loans secure and close deals.

The former president and other defendants deny wrongdoing.

Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, reiterated on his Truth Social platform Thursday that he sees the process as WRONG, a miscarriage of justice and election interference. James and the judge who will decide the case, Arthur Engoron, are Democrats.

The Trump Organization is financially strong, powerful, highly liquid and has done nothing wrong, Trump wrote.

Eric Trump said at the start of his testimony that he never had anything to do with the financial condition statement, didn’t believe he’d ever seen one and didn’t really know anything about it until this case became a reality.

It’s not what I did for the company, said the son, who insisted his interests lie primarily in pouring concrete structures and operating properties. He said that while he knew the company had financial documents, he was not personally aware of the state of its financial condition.

State’s Attorney Andrew Amer then showed him 2013 emails from then-Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney

,

who explained to Eric Trump that he was working on your father’s financial statement and needed information about one of the company’s properties.

So you were aware of your father’s annual accounts from August 2013? Amer asked.

It certainly seems that way, confirmed Eric Trump, who was a lower-level executive at the time.

In another email that year, McConney said he was working on the notes to Mr. Trump’s annual accounts and asked Eric and others for an update on any major construction work that had recently started.

“Yes, I know Jeff McConney does the financial statements for my dad,” Eric Trump said, leaning back in his chair and straightening his suit jacket. Asked a question along the same lines, he elaborated on his answer that the company is a “huge real estate organization,” his voice growing louder as he spoke.

Donald Trump Jr. testified earlier Thursday that despite James’ allegations, he still believed his father’s financial statements were materially accurate. His father has said that the figures on the documents understate his wealth and the value of his skyscrapers, golf courses and other properties.

Following his testimony Wednesday, Trump Jr. insisted he only handled the financial statements by signing them off as trustee for his father’s trust and providing them to lenders to meet loan requirements. He reiterated that he did so while relying on assurances from executives in the company’s finance department and an outside accounting firm that the information was accurate.

If they had assured me in their expert opinion that these things were fine, I would have been fine with that and signed accordingly, he tested.

Outside the courthouse, Trump Jr. told reporters that he thought his testimony went very well, if we were actually dealing with logic and reason, the way business is done.

Unfortunately, the Attorney General has brought forward a case that is purely a political persecution, he said. I think to me it’s a really scary precedent for New York. Before I’ve even spent a day in court, I’m apparently guilty of fraud because I rely on my accountants to do, wait for it: bookkeeping.

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