1 of 5 | Donald Trump Jr. testified Thursday for the second day in the New York civil business fraud trial. He again maintained that he relied on accountants while signing off on financial statements found by Judge Arthur Engoron to be fraudulent. Pool Photo by Jeenah Moon/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump testified Thursday in the New York civil business fraud trial against the Trump Organization, saying that they were not involved in the asset valuation documents at the heart of the $250 million fraud case.
Judge Arthur Engoron has ruled the Trumps and the Trump Organization did commit fraud in the valuation of assets for many years.
Trump Jr. was asked by Assistant Attorney General Colleen Faherty Thursday whether he intended for Deutsche Bank to use financial information about Trump properties that he had signed off on as being accurate.
"I'm fine with the bank relying on that information," Trump Jr. replied. "I don't know that I intended for them to do anything. I'm signing off on it. It's not a simple yes or no."
Faherty posed several questions about the 2017 and other statements of financial condition from the Trump Organization involving financing for the Old Post Office in Washington, Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Florida.
Trump Jr. gave the same answer for the financial statements from 2018 through 2020.
Pressed about Donald Trump's claim that his 11,000-square-foot Trump Tower penthouse apartment was 33,000 square feet, Trump, Jr. repeated earlier testimony that, "I relied on Mazars and our accounting team to tell me what is accurate in regards to accounting. That's why we have accountants."
While on the stand, Eric Trump acknowledged that, despite previously testifying that he lacked knowledge about his father's financial statements, he had exchanged emails with former Tump Organization controller Jeff McConney about information he needed for his father's financial statement.
"I was not personally aware of the statement of financial condition. I did not work on the financial condition," Eric Trump told the court.
"I don't think it ever registered that it was for a personal statement of financial condition. It was a detail that was irrelevant to me," Eric Trump said.
Eric Trump insisted that his role with the Trump Organization was to operate properties, not financial appraisal.
"I pour concrete. I operate properties. I don't focus on appraisals," Eric Trump said, "it's just not what I do in my day-to-day responsibilities."
On Thursday, former President Trump expressed his displeasure with what he characterized as his sons being persecuted.
"So sad to see my sons being PERSECUTED in a political Witch Hunt by this out of control, publicity seeking, New York State Judge, on a case that should have NEVER been brought," Trump wrote on Truth Social.
But as a Trump Organization vice president, Trump Jr. signed off on the document that claimed the elder Trump's penthouse was three times its actual size -- resulting in an inaccurate over-valuation of $327 million according to prosecutors.
Judge Engoron's finding that fraud was committed came in the partial granting of a summary judgment motion from New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The Trumps deny they committed fraud.
The trial is to settle other elements of James' fraud suit, including alleged falsification of business records, insurance fraud and conspiracy and to determine financial penalties and disposition of Trump business assets in New York.
James alleges that by using various means and methods of fraud and misrepresentation Donald Trump's net worth was inflated by $2 billion.
Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump are expected to testify in the coming days.