On Thursday, former President Donald Trump appeared in court in New York for his civil fraud trial, where an accounting expert attempted to reinforce the defense position that company appraisals are a highly subjective process.
Before entering the courtroom, Trump made a few brief remarks to reporters in which he denounced the trial as “corrupt,” attacking both the New York attorney general, Letitia James, who initiated the case against him, and the judge overseeing it, Arthur Engoron.
There was nothing wrong at all with what we did, the former president declared.
Eli Bartov, a defense accounting expert who testified on Thursday, was also complimented by Trump. According to Bartov, an accounting professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, accounting rules provide a lot of flexibility for the valuation calculation techniques applied to individual financial statements.
One day after Trump skipped the fourth GOP presidential debate, the former president makes an appearance in court. The front-runner in the Republican primary, the former president, denounced the attorney general’s civil prosecution against him and declined to comment on the GOP contest on Thursday morning.
The high-stakes civil lawsuit targets Trump’s real estate empire, which is the foundation of his brand. Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, is suing Trump for $250 million and wants to prevent him from conducting business there.
Trump and his co-defendants were found liable for fraud by Judge Engoron.
The main points of contention in Trump’s case are that the financial statements were not fraudulent and that several individuals can assign varying prices to the same asset.
Because the Trump family depended on accountants, the defense has claimed that there was no intention to cheat banks or insurers and that any discrepancies in the properties’ prices were meaningless.
Bartov testified on Thursday, saying, My main conclusion is that there is no proof whatsoever for any accounting fraud. Furthermore, my analysis demonstrates that there was no major error in the financial condition statements.
So you’re an expert and think the AG’s claims are unfounded? Engoron enquired.
That is my opinion, 100% of the time. Indeed. stated Bartov.
Bartov insisted, “Errors like that are not unusual,” even though he conceded that there were mistakes in Trump’s financial papers and pointed out that the price of the Trump Tower triplex unit was overstated.
Bartov claimed he had looked for hints that the reports or assertions contained errors, but he couldn’t find a single rule that was broken. I failed to locate one.
Nevertheless, in September, before the start of the trial, Engoron declared that the Trumps had committed “persistent and repeated fraud” by undervaluing their assets on the financial records. Six more charges, including conspiracy, forging company documents, providing fraudulent financial statements, and insurance fraud, are being pursued by the state.
James wrote on X, saying that Donald Trump engaged in years of financial fraud and enriched himself and his family. James was not in court on Thursday. We’ve already demonstrated the enormous scope of his deception. Regardless of how much he lies, the truth doesn’t.
Bartov’s lengthy testimony regarding the complaint had been challenged by the attorney general’s office, which said it was irrelevant because it did not address material that had been introduced during the trial.
Trump’s Company Certificates
Additionally, a New York appeals court decided on Thursday to postpone canceling Trump’s company certificates until following the conclusion of the civil fraud trial and any pending appeals. This decision is a continuation of a previous decision made at the outset of the trial by a single appeals court judge.
Shortly after the ruling was made public, Trump praised it as a “very good ruling” from outside the courthouse. In a similar statement to CNN, his lawyer, Chris Kise, said the decision helps open the door for a thorough and much-needed investigation of the trial court’s numerous mistakes.
The attorney general’s office informed the appeals court that it had no issues with the business certificates being temporarily halted in their cancellation.
On Monday, Trump is anticipated to give more testimony in the trial. He used grandiose language while testifying last month, focusing most of his time on disparaging James and Engoron.
Following the reinstatement of his gag order late last month by a New York appeals court, the former president is prohibited from speaking about court personnel.
Originally, Engoron issued an order prohibiting Trump from speaking publicly about his court’s employees because of multiple remarks he made about a clerk who he claims is prejudiced against him.