Eric Trump got a little testy on the stand Thursday—moments before he was caught lying about his knowledge regarding his father’s financial statements.
After claiming that he had “never worked” on the Trump Organization’s statement of financial condition and wasn’t aware of it until the bank fraud trial “came to fruition,” the taller Trump brother admitted he was in fact aware of it dating as far back as 2013.
The “gotcha” moment has big implications for how the rest of this case will unfold.
Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr. spent the majority of Wednesday and Thursday on the stand, where they conveniently seemed to have forgotten many details about serving as the Trump Organization’s top executives.
The brothers have largely skirted specifics, blaming their faulty memories for the total lapses. Don Jr. claimed he could not remember the period in 2021 in which he was removed and then reinstated as a trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, couldn’t remember if his father was a trustee, had no idea why his father added himself back as a trustee during his presidency, and claimed he could not recall if he had worked on his father’s statement of financial condition.
Instead, the brothers’ testimony has attempted to divert most of the responsibility regarding the faulty financial statements onto the companies’ accounting team, including former CFO Allen Weisselberg, as well as their accounting firm, Mazars USA.
Yet Eric’s contradiction to his own deposition also shines a light on the prosecution’s strategy, which has been to question his credibility without outright calling him a liar. Essentially, Eric has already revealed that his claims of having no knowledge were “at best, based on a very faulty memory and at worst, constituted deliberate falsehoods,” reported NBC News.
Both Donald Trump and his two sons are defendants in the $250 million New York bank fraud trial in which the trio stands accused of deceiving banks and insurers by massively overvaluing the elder Trump’s net worth.
That figure was sometimes off by as much as billions of dollars, the president’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, revealed last week.
So far, Judge Arthur Engoron has ruled that Trump and his sons committed fraud and has stripped the Trump Organization of its business certificates. Trump is also fighting hard to appeal that decision.
Trump and Ivanka are set to testify next week, though the heiress is working to appeal Engoron’s ruling that she must participate.