Donald Trump’s eldest son hailed the “sexiness” of his father’s properties after returning to the stand at the $250m fraud trial over the former president’s real estate empire.
Lawyers for the Trump Organization summoned Donald Trump Jr at the start of the seventh week of the New York civil trial.
He showered praise on his father, who was not present in court on Monday. The former president “has been good at finding value, doing something differently” and identifying “sexiness within a real estate project”, Trump Jr said.
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This helped the company attract licensing deals with other developers who wanted to emulate his style, Trump Jr suggested, adding that his father had “built some of the most incredible assets in the world”.
The New York attorney general’s office is suing Donald Trump, his adult sons and other executives at the Trump Organization for inflating the value of assets on financial statements. They rested their case after Ivanka Trump testified last Wednesday.
Trump faces a fine of at least $250m if found guilty at the end of the trial. The New York judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled Trump should have his business licenses revoked for fraud, although the ruling is going through an appellate court.
The former president and three of his children – Trump Jr, Eric and Ivanka – have already been summoned to give evidence at trial by lawyers for the New York attorney general. Now defense lawyers are working through their own witness list.
While Trump Jr and Eric are executive vice-presidents at the Trump Organization and named defendants alongside their father, Ivanka left the business in 2017 to serve in the White House, and is not a defendant.
In court Trump Jr described himself as the “big-picture deals guy”, while Eric was said to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the family business. Both brothers are “much more responsible than prior to 2017”, when their father assumed the presidency, he said.
Since 2021, however, when Trump left office, he “could get involved, and he chooses to, on certain things”, Trump Jr said.
During his first appearance at the trial, the eldest Trump son had sought to distance himself from financial statements at the heart of the trial. “The accountants worked on it,” he told the court.