Trump Takes The Stand In Civil Trial

Today in court, Donald Trump admitted that he had an influence on how he valued his properties. During the trial, Assistant Attorney General Kevin Wallace asked Trump if he ever thought the values in his financial statements were incorrect. Trump said yes, sometimes they were too high, and sometimes they were too low.

He was specifically asked about a statement from 2017 regarding the value of his penthouse apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan. Trump said he probably directed that it be valued lower because he thought it was too high. However, he also mentioned that he wasn’t sure what was considered too high anymore, as he had seen properties sell for very high prices.

In previous financial statements, Trump had falsely claimed that his apartment was over 30,000 square feet, but a Forbes magazine investigation later found that it was actually less than 11,000 square feet.

In another part of the questioning, Trump distanced himself from a 2021 financial statement, saying he was busy with important matters like dealing with China and Russia while he was in the White House. However, the attorney reminded him that he wasn’t the president in 2021.

The case against Trump revolves around the value of his real estate holdings. New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges that Trump greatly and fraudulently inflated the value of his properties for many years. Trump’s top executives, including his two eldest sons who testified in the trial, have tried to distance themselves from these financial statements and put the blame on the accounting firm that prepared them.

Trump has also repeatedly argued that a disclaimer on the statements means they should not be taken seriously. He said the disclaimer tells people not to believe the statement and to do their own research. However, the judge disagreed with him, pointing out that the disclaimer does not say the values in the statements are worthless or should be ignored.