Former President Donald Trump appeared at a Lower Manhattan courthouse for a civil fraud trial. He attended the testimony of accounting expert Eli Bartov, a professor at New York University.
Trump praised Bartov as “one of the great experts in the country” before entering the courtroom.
During this trial, Trump faces allegations of committing fraud by inflating the value of his assets. This article delves into Trump’s courtroom appearance, Bartov’s testimony, and the broader context of the trial.
Trump’s Presence at the Trial
Donald Trump arrived at Manhattan Supreme Court to observe the testimony of accounting expert Eli Bartov. He criticized the trial as “very corrupt” and reiterated his belief that it is a “witch hunt.”
Trump’s appearance marked a rare instance of his attendance at the trial, his seventh appearance out of 40 trial days.
Although his presence is not required in civil cases, he has used these opportunities to voice his opinions on the trial and its proceedings.
Eli Bartov’s Testimony
Eli Bartov, a professor of accounting, served as the last defense witness before Donald Trump himself took the stand.
Bartov’s testimony countered the allegations of fraud against Trump, arguing that asset valuations can be subjective and accounting errors are common.
He dismissed Trump’s increase in square footage in a 2011 statement as “not unusual” and emphasized that fraud in accounting is an intentional misstatement, not an accidental mistake.
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Response to Bartov’s Testimony
During a morning break, Donald Trump hailed Bartov’s testimony as a victory for his case, emphasizing Bartov’s status as a highly respected expert.
He stated that Bartov found no fraud or accounting fraud in his examination. Trump plans to testify on Monday to close out the defense’s case.
Legal Developments and Gag Order
The trial has seen various legal developments, including a gag order that temporarily restricted Trump and his lawyers from speaking about the judge’s staff, including Chief Law Clerk Allison Greenfield.
Trump has contested this order as a violation of his right to free speech. However, the issue still needs to be solved, and Trump will not be allowed to go after Greenfield in his upcoming testimony.
Ongoing Trial and Background
The civil fraud trial, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Trump inflated his net worth on financial statements to gain advantages in loan and insurance applications.
Trump and his family have denied these allegations, with Ivanka Trump being dismissed as a defendant earlier due to statute of limitations issues.
The trial is expected to continue into early next year, and Trump’s appearance on Monday will be his second time testifying in the case.
Donald Trump’s presence at the civil fraud trial, along with the testimony of accounting expert Eli Bartov, sheds light on the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding allegations of fraud related to Trump’s financial statements.
The trial remains a significant legal battle for the former president, with the final verdict expected in the coming months.