Trump is not playing any games about this one very serious issue.
Former President Donald Trump has expressed his anger with Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over his civil fraud trial, as his three children are scheduled to testify in a New York courtroom. Taking to Truth Social, Trump called on the judge to refrain from involving his children in the case. His children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump, are all expected to provide testimony as part of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million fraud lawsuit against the former president.
According to Newsweek, in this legal battle, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who hold senior positions at The Trump Organization, are accused of aiding Donald Trump in inflating the value of his properties and assets in financial statements for personal gain, such as tax benefits and more favorable bank loans. Ivanka Trump, who left The Trump Organization in 2017 to join her father’s White House administration, was initially named in the lawsuit but was dismissed from the case in June due to the statute of limitations for most of the allegations against her.
Judge Engoron ordered Ivanka Trump to testify as a witness in the civil trial after she was subpoenaed by Letitia James’ office, which asserted that she played a significant role in dealings with Deutsche Bank, involving three loans central to James’ investigation. Donald Trump and his sons have consistently denied any wrongdoing.
On social media, Trump not only criticized Judge Engoron but also suggested that the case should be dismissed following the testimony of his former attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen stated in court that the former president never directly instructed him to inflate property values in financial statements. Trump also disputed the valuation of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which Palm Beach County tax appraisers estimate to be around $18 million based on its limited use as a social club. The former president has frequently claimed the property is worth as much as $1.5 billion as a residential property.
Trump wrote, “This Rigged Trial, brought by the Racist New York State A.G. Letitia James before Trump and developer Hating Judge, Arthur Engoron, which should have never been brought in that the so-called STAR WITNESS, SleazeBag Lawyer (for many people) Michael Cohen, admitted last week on the stand that he LIED, and also that your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, or anyone from the Trump Organization, NEVER TOLD HIM TO INFLATE VALUES ON FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, the opposite of what he told the A.G. in order to get this HOAX started. Therefore, on that fact alone, this Fake Case should be dismissed. Additionally, however, the Financial Statements Values are Conservative (LOW!), Mar-a-Lago is worth MUCH MORE than $18,000,000, there is a 100% Disclaimer Clause on the 1st page of the Statements, the Banks and Insurance Companies were paid in full, no defaults, they all made money, and there is no Victim (except me!). Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession.”
Notably, Judge Engoron has previously imposed fines on Trump for violating a gag order aimed at preventing him from making disparaging comments about the court’s staff. Under the order, Trump is allowed to criticize the judge and the case against him.
Donald Trump Jr. is the first of Trump’s children to testify in the civil trial, with his testimony scheduled for November 1. Eric Trump is set to testify on November 2, and the former president himself is expected to testify on November 6.
Ivanka Trump was initially scheduled to testify on Friday but will now provide her testimony on November 8 to allow for more time to answer questions. Typically, court sessions at the New York Supreme Court are limited to half a day on Fridays.
Judge Engoron has already ruled that Trump committed fraud by misrepresenting the value of his properties, including Mar-a-Lago, over several years. The civil trial is currently addressing the remaining six allegations in Letitia James’ lawsuit and considering the potential penalty, which could include a ban on Trump conducting business in New York state, the removal of his properties from his control, or a substantial monetary fine.