Trump $250M fraud trial will go forward Monday, AG plans to call his adult sons as witnesses

A New York appellate court has denied Trump’s motion to delay the trial.

September 28, 2023, 3:32 PM

The First Judicial Department Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has denied Donald Trump's motion to delay his fraud trial -- meaning that the New York attorney general's $250 million civil trial against the former president will proceed on Monday as planned.

Earlier this month, a New York appellate judge had issued an interim stay, pending a ruling by the First Judicial Department.

"We are ready for trial and look forward to presenting the rest of our case," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement following Thursday's ruling.

In a pretrial ruling on Tuesday, a Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the cancelation of the Trump Organization's business certificates in the state after determining that Trump submitted "fraudulent valuations" for assets that were then used by himself, his eldest sons and his business to obtain better loan and insurance terms.

Still to be determined at trial is the question of what additional penalties Trump might face, as well as several causes of action included in the attorney general's suit.

James plans to call Trump and his adult sons to the stand during the trial, according to a list of witnesses the AG has filed with the court.

Trump is currently slated to be the government's second-to-last witness in the AG's case.

PHOTO: New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention, Feb. 17, 2022, in New York.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention, Feb. 17, 2022, in New York.
Seth Wenig/AP, FILE

The attorney general's witness list also includes Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, co-defendants Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney, and multiple current and former Trump Organization executives.

The first witness they plan to call is Trump's former accountant Donald Bender of Mazars USA, which last year severed its business relationship with Trump after learning of the NYAG's findings. During the Trump Organization's 2022 criminal trial on charges of helping certain executives evade taxes, Bender testified that Trump reported massive losses on his tax returns, including losing a combined $1 billion between 2009 and 2010.

A Manhattan jury ultimately found the Trump Organization guilty of criminal tax fraud.

In total, the attorney general's office plans to call 28 witnesses to present their case in the upcoming trial, and also listed 25 additional witnesses they could use on rebuttal, according to the filing.

In their witness list, Trump and his co-defendants reserved the right to call over 130 witnesses for their case, including Trump and his adult sons.

While the witness lists were updated after Tuesday's ruling by the judge, they might change as the trial proceeds.

Trump attorney Alina Habba said Tuesday that Trump plans to immediately appeal what she called the judge's "fundamentally flawed" decision.

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