Donald Trump has long linked his children to his business and political career: three of them and the Republican billionaire himself are expected to appear on Wednesday before the witness stand in New York in the civil trial on charges of financial fraud that threatens his real estate empire.
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If all goes as planned, the family’s parade will begin Wednesday with Donald Trump Jr., 45, and continue Thursday with Eric Trump, 39.
Both executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization, which includes countless companies that operate residential skyscrapers, offices, luxury hotels and golf courses around the world, are accused like their father by New York State Attorney General Letitia James of inflating their finances. The group’s assets amount to billions of dollars to obtain better loans from banks and more favorable insurance terms.
If the agenda is not disrupted, Donald Trump Sr., 77, will be questioned on Monday, a year before the presidential election scheduled for November 5, 2024, which he hopes to run to return to the presidency of the United States.
She will be followed, two days later, by Ivanka Trump, who left the Trump Organization in 2017 to enter the White House as an advisor to the forty-fifth president of the United States. It is not the subject of the lawsuit.
Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, longtime partners in the family business, took over the Trump Organization when their father entered the White House.
They are also ardent political allies of the former US president, an undying loyalty they display daily in the media and on social networks.
They must not deviate from the line adopted by the defense since the start of the trial a month ago.
Lawyers argue that valuations of the group’s assets, such as Trump Tower and the 40 Wall Street building, were subjective but honest, and that the banks did not lose a single dollar by lending money to the Trump Organization. For his part, Donald Trump is bombing an “unfair” trial, led by the “corrupt” prosecutor, Letitia James, and the “rogue” judge, Arthur Engoron, at the expense of the Democrats, to prevent him from returning to the White House.
Regularly attending hearings, the GOP primary favorite turns all his courtroom visits into a mini-press conference and pretends to be a victim of legal machinations, as is the case in the four other cases in which he has been charged with criminal charges, notably an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. .
In several cases, judges prevented him from attacking judicial officials, or even witnesses, to avoid pressure. In New York, Judge Engoron issued him two fines of $5,000 and $10,000, paid in cash, for attacking his clerk.
His presence at the hearings also shows the importance Donald Trump attaches to this issue. If he does not risk prison, the trial could cause him to lose control of part of his real estate assets, in addition to a $250 million fine and a corporate management ban in New York.
Even before the trial began on October 2, Judge Engoron estimated that the prosecutor’s office had presented “conclusive evidence that the defendants overstated the value of assets between 2014 and 2021” by “$812 million (to) $2.2 billion” depending on the year. As a result of the “repeated fraud,” he ordered the liquidation of the companies, a real legal bombshell, but his decision was overturned on appeal.
The trial also concerns other violations of financial laws and the amount of the fine.
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