Former President Donald Trump unloaded on the New York judge overseeing his civil trial Wednesday, accusing him of being a “political hack” for the Democratic Party as Attorney General Letitia James called the ex-president’s oldest child to the witness stand.
Mr. Trump complained about Judge Arthur Engoron before his son Donald Trump Jr. testified in the civil case, which accuses the Trump family of manipulating financial statements to get better terms on loans and insurance.
“Engoron is crazy, totally unhinged, and dangerous,” the former president wrote on Truth Social, his social media platform. “Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!”
Donald Trump Jr. testified Wednesday he knew little about Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and focused on being a real estate broker within the Trump Organization.
When asked whether he belonged to an accountants’ organization, he replied, “Sounds very exciting, but no.”
While lighthearted at times, the Trump Organization executive vice president took serious care to establish that he’s not an expert on the accounting standards that have been mentioned in the case.
“I rely on professionals and CPAs,” he said.
Another of Mr. Trump’s adult children Eric Trump is scheduled to testify Thursday after his brother. The Trump sons took on big roles in the company when their father entered the White House in 2017.
The ex-president’s daughter Ivanka Trump is scheduled to appear next week. She is not a defendant in the lawsuit, however, and her attorneys are appealing the ruling that ordered her to testify.
A key expert for the state, Michiel McCarty, testified Wednesday that banks lost an estimated $168 million in potential interest from loans tied to Trump’s properties in Miami, New York, Chicago and Washington, according to ABC News.
The testimony is relevant because if statements of financial condition, or SFCs, were misleading, then lenders were essentially tricked into giving the Trump Organization lower interest rates than it deserved.
Defense attorneys pushed back on the analysis, saying there is no evidence the banks, which made money on the loans, would have acted differently with more information from the Trumps.
“Now they come up with something called ‘disgorgement.’ I never even heard of the term,” Mr. Trump wrote in his series of Truth Social posts criticizing Judge Engoron.
Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential primary front-runner, says he’s done nothing wrong and that Ms. James and the presiding judge do not understand basic real estate practices.
“Judge Engoron is a political hack who ruled against me before the trial even started. He is doing the dirty work for the Democrat Party,” Mr. Trump wrote. “I was not even given the option of a jury, This Rigged Case should have never been brought, but since it was, it should have been in the Commercial Division, but Engoron WOULD NOT LET GO OF IT.”
Mr. Trump also said he hadn’t won a “single motion” and that he’s being “railroaded.”
Previously, Judge Engoron forbade attacks on court personnel and fined Mr. Trump $15,000 for perceived criticism of his law clerk.
• This story is based in part on wire reports.