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Week 2 of defense case begins in Trump Organization civil fraud trial



NEW YORK – Week two of the defense putting on its case in the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump, his eldest sons and other top executives in the Trump Organization began Monday. 

One of the defendants was called back to the witness stand Monday. 

When the prosecution presented its case, all five defendants were called to the stand. So far, the defense has called back Donald Trump, Jr. and Monday former Trump controller Jeffrey McConney. 

Former President Donald Trump previously testified he gave two people total authority: McConney and former Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg to work with an accounting firm to come up with his financial statements. 

Trump and his two eldest sons all previously testified they relied on those accountants, specifically Donald Bender with the outside firm Mazars. 

Earlier in the trial, Bender testified Trump’s company provided the numbers that went into the documents and at some point Bender learned they hadn’t shared everything. 


McConney was asked by defense attorneys if he ever hid anything from Bender. He said no, and “Bender had access to anything he wanted” and “he was basically an extension of our accounting department,” noting the Trump Organization wasn’t a structured company. 

“Anybody in the accounting department could talk to anybody,” McConney said. 

When asked how he relied on Bender to do his job, McConney said “I relied on him for a lot of stuff.” 

He explained they would begin the process of putting together statements of financial condition every July, working on them through October. But McConney testified it only took up a portion of his time, since he had other responsibilities at the Trump Organization as controller. 

The New York Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges Trump and top executives at his company exaggerated his wealth by billions of dollars on financial statements by inflating property values in order to get more favorable loan and insurance terms. 

The defense has called numerous experts to the stand, trying to show that asset valuations can vary greatly depending on what method is used and is acceptable if disclosed. 

McConney will be back on the stand Tuesday. The court is off the rest of the week for the holiday. 


The lawsuit seeks more than $250 million in ill-gotten gains and a ban on the defendants doing business in New York. The judge already ruled pre-trial they committed fraud. Now he must determine other things, like the punishment. 

Source: CBS

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