North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Trump attacks judge in civil fraud trial; concedes role in valuing empire’s property

NBC News
Trump remains in trial under a $250 million fraud case.

The New York attorney general’s office said that it plans to call Trump’s children to testify, while Trump takes the stand on Nov. 6.

The New York attorney general’s office on Oct. 27 presented in court the dates it expects Trump and his oldest children to testify in the $250 million civil trial against the former president and his company.

Trump, who was not required to attend the trial, sat with his arms crossed for most of AG attorney Kevin Wallace’s presentation to Judge Arthur Engoron, occasionally tapping his foot. The trial puts Trump’s business acumen into focus as the AG’s office seeks to portray the image of a fixated ex-president as a fraud who intentionally overstated his successes.

In his opening statement, Wallace told Engoron that Trump and officials at his company had engaged in “persistent illegal acts” with overly inflated financial statements with values that were “determined by Donald Trump.”

Wallace said Trump overvalued his financial statements by $812 million to $2.2 billion, knew that they were false, and used them to obtain loans at terms he was not entitled to and other benefits.

Trump tried to blame former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg for the financial certifications at his deposition in the case, Wallace said, but “he was lying.”

The civil trial kicks off what might be a series of courtroom appearances by Trump, who also faces criminal charges in four different jurisdictions, including two cases in connection with his bid to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has sought to paint all of his legal woes as political retribution and an effort to keep him from returning to power as he holds on to the lead in the Republican primary campaign.

Trump’s attorney Christopher Kise said in his opening statement that the evidence would show that Trump “made many billions of dollars being right about real estate investments” and built “one of the most successful real estate empires in the world” and “one of the most successful brands.”

He told the judge that valuations are subjective and was sure to note that Trump never defaulted on any of the loans. “There was no fraud,” Kise said. “President Trump did not make any false statements.”

The no-jury trial in Manhattan, which is expected to last about three months, concluding by Dec. 22, will be decided by Engoron.

Kise was followed by combative Trump attorney Alina Habba, who has clashed with Engoron in the past. Habba called former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, one of the AG’s witnesses, a “liar,” suggested James’ investigation was politically motivated and complained that James was undervaluing Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida club, which she said is “worth at least a billion dollars.”

“It’s a serious accusation and it cuts to the core of Trump’s identity as a successful businessman,” AP United States History teacher Pankaj Sharma said. “If these charges are true, it will seem like the state of New York has proven that he has committed fraud or lied about his wealth or his assets which is a serious accusation. It might also make it really hard for him and his family to do business in New York which would personally be very frustrating and upsetting to him. We’ll see what the judge decides, but it’s obviously a very loaded case.” 

The Trump fraud case serves as a significant legal and political milestone, with its outcome likely to have far-reaching implications on the American political landscape. As the legal proceedings progress, the nation watches closely, awaiting a final verdict that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the future of American politics and accountability at the highest levels of government.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jack Strilky, Asst. News Editor
Jack Strilky is a sophomore at Niles North High School who enjoys reading in his free time. He also enjoys running outdoors.

Comments (1)

All North Star News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Cynthia FeyNov 10, 2023 at 7:39 am

    Keep up the great journalism, Jack! Your stories are fire!