Donald Trump seemed unable Monday to stop exposing the extent of his involvement with his company’s business fraud.
Trump took the stand in the civil fraud trial, in which he and his associates are accused of gaining more than $100 million by fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets. Trump immediately revealed he was involved in the wrongdoing.
First, Trump admitted that he looked at the documents stating the value of his different properties.
“I would look at them, I would see them, and I would maybe on occasion have some suggestions,” he said.
He then admitted he had lowered the value of Seven Springs, a property in Westchester County, New York. “I thought it was high,” he explained, essentially again revealing his close involvement in financial statements.
When asked about an amount that was changed on a 2017 document, Trump said he had “probably” requested the change because he felt that value was too high.
Trump’s repeated admissions are not a good look for the former president, to put it mildly. They show he was aware of the Trump Organization’s fraudulent practices, and it’ll be much harder for him to pin all the fraud on someone else. New York Times reporter Jonah Bromwich suggested that Trump seemed not to realize that his statements are “damning.”
The trial is really just to set damages in the case. Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron determined in September that Trump committed fraud. Engoron ordered that all Trump’s New York business certificates be canceled, making it nearly impossible to do business in the state and effectively killing the Trump Organization.