Former President Donald Trump called the $250M civil fraud case ‘a scam’ as he attended the second day of trial in person in a Manhattan courthouse Tuesday.
As the first recess of the day concluded, and he prepared to re-enter the courtroom along with his entourage, he faced the reporters and gave a quick statement.
“They were paid, made money, there was no fraud. They are all happy. In many pages it says, you must understand, you must do your due diligence. Do not rely on anything,” he said. “This case is a scam. There can’t be fraud when you tell institutions to do their own work.”
The second day of the trial is reportedly centered around testimony from former Trump Organization accountant Donald Bender. New York State Attorney General Letitia James is piling on proof to show that Trump and his family’s business misled even their own accountants.
Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office, questioned Bender on the stand. Bender admitted that the financial statements he prepared for the Trump Organization were largely based on figures that did not have an official data backup and instead were self-reported.
Wallace pointed out that the current value of Trump Tower is $631 million, which is “based on the evaluation by the Trustees in conjunction with their associates and outside professionals, applying a capitalization rate to the cash flow to be derived from the building operations.”
The lawyer then asked Bender who was in charge of determining the building’s value. Bender simply replied, “The trustees.”