According to a report by Newsweek on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, Former President Donald Trump has issued a stern warning to the judge presiding over his civil fraud trial, Judge Arthur Engoron, urging him to “leave my children alone” as they are due to testify in the New York courtroom.
This statement was made in a post on Truth Social, a social media platform.
The civil fraud trial involves a $250 million lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Senior executives at the family real estate company, The Trump Organization, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., are charged in James’ lawsuit with helping the former president falsify financial statements to represent the true value of his properties and assets in order to receive benefits like tax breaks and better bank loans.
James’ lawsuit initially named Ivanka Trump, who left The Trump Organization in 2017 to join her father’s White House administration.
However, in June, James dismissed Ivanka Trump from the case because most of the allegations against her were past the statute of limitations.
Ivanka Trump was subpoenaed by James’ office, which claimed she was a crucial “point of contact and negotiator” with Deutsche Bank for three loans that constitute a notable portion of James’ investigation.
Engoron then ordered Trump to testify as a witness in the civil trial. The sons of Donald Trump also refute any wrongdoing.
Following the testimony of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who informed the court that the former president never explicitly asked him to inflate his properties in financial statements, Trump attacked Engoron in a social media post and suggested the case should be dismissed.
Additionally, Trump rejected the tax appraiser for Palm Beach County’s assessment that the value of his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, is approximately $18 million due to its limited use as a social club.
The former president has frequently claimed the property is worth up to $1.5 billion as a residential property.
“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,” Trump wrote.
“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,” he added.
As part of this lawsuit, three of Trump’s children – Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump – are set to answer questions under oath.
The lawsuit alleges that the Trump family fraudulently inflated the value of their properties and assets in financial statements.
This was allegedly done to obtain perks such as tax breaks and better bank loans.
Eric and Donald Trump Jr., senior executives at the family real estate business, The Trump Organization, are accused of assisting their father in these alleged fraudulent activities.
Ivanka Trump, who left The Trump Organization in 2017 to join her father’s White House administration, was originally named in James’ lawsuit but was dismissed from the case in June due to the statute of limitations for most of the allegations against her. However, she is still scheduled to testify as a witness.
Donald Trump Jr. is expected to testify in the trial on Wednesday.
He will be followed later in the week by Eric Trump. All members of the Trump family have denied Attorney General Letitia James’ claims.
This is not the first time that Trump has expressed his displeasure with the proceedings. He has previously been fined a total of $15,000 for violations of a limited gag order in the case.
The latest attacks aren’t likely to draw more fines as the gag order applies to attacks on members of the court staff, not the judge himself.
The former president himself is scheduled to testify at the civil trial on Monday. As he prepares for this testimony, it remains to be seen how his public statements will impact the proceedings and whether his children will indeed be left alone.