Former President Donald Trump is expected to testify Monday in the New York civil fraud case.
The Trump Organization has been accused of inflating the value of its assets by billions of dollars to obtain more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.
The leading republican presidential candidate is due to take the stand at 10:00 am where the presiding judge is Arthur Engoron.
Trump has repeatedly referred to the judge as "unhinged" and a "Trump-hating radical left, Democrat operative."
Engoron has responded by slapping Trump with two fines, one for $5,000, and another for $10,000. The judge ruled Trump had violated a partial gag order imposed after he trashed the judge's clerk on social media.
At the beginning of the trial, the judge was filmed playing to the cameras as he smiled and laughed as he took off his glasses when Trump entered the courtroom.
Trump is expected to testify that the accountants were ultimately responsible for verifying the company's financial statements.
The former president has already given testimony twice in this case.
During his first deposition, Trump described the proceedings as “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country," and called New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the case an "out of control prosecutor." He has also made similar statements publicly at the courthouse to the press.
During her run for attorney general in 2020, James used going after Trump as part of her campaign rhetoric.
During his second deposition Trump called the case "crazy" because "banks were all paid" and "made a lot of money.”
The judge ruled that the Trump Organization engaged in fraud and now what is being decided is how much should the Trump Organization be fined. It could be as high as $250 million in penalties, and result in his family’s removal from the management, and family members not allowed to do business in the state of New York.
Even before opening arguments, Judge Engoron ruled that the attorney general’s office had found "conclusive evidence" that Trump had overstated his net worth on financial documents by between $812 million and $2.2 billion between 2014 and 2021.
Judge Engoron ruled at the beginning of the trial that Trump's Florida residence, Mar-A-Lago, is worth $18 million when it has been valued anywhere between $500 million and more. Trump paid somewhere between $7 million and $10 million when he purchased the property in 1985.
As a result of his findings, the judge ordered the liquidation of the companies managing the assets in question, such as the Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street skyscrapers in Manhattan and the Seven Springs estate in New York.
That order is on hold pending appeal.
Homes for sale in Palm Beach in the same neighborhood as Mar-A-Lago that have anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 square feet are on the market for around $10-15,000,000, according to Sotheby's listings. Mar-A-Lago far surpasses those home in square footage. Mar-A-Lago is listed as 62,500 square feet.
Some of Trump's supporter have argued that liquidating the leading presidential assets during an election could be construed as election interference although that legal notion has never been tested in a court of law because this case has never happened in the history of U.S. presidential campaigns.
Ivanka Trump, although not a codefendant in the case, has also been ordered to testify. She challenged that decision. She is not a co-defendant in the case. Ivanka is expected to testify some time this week.
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