Trump, Jr., Eric, Ivanka to Testify in NY Next Month


  • Trump and his three eldest children must defend the family business in open court in NYC next month.
  • They are among 25 witnesses attorney general Letitia James will call in a $250 million fraud trial.
  • Whether the trial starts Monday, as scheduled, is in the hands of a Manhattan appeals panel.

New York’s $250 million fraud trial against Donald Trump and his real-estate empire will force four Trumps to the witness stand in the coming weeks, starting with Ivanka Trump and followed, toward its end, by the former president and his two eldest sons, a new witness list reveals.

State Attorney General Letitia James’ final list of “Witnesses to be Called” in her case against the Trump Organization was filed late Thursday morning.

Here’s the whole list. 

The non-jury trial is scheduled to begin in Manhattan on Monday, but that date remains up in the air until an appellate panel rules on Trump’s request that the case be shrunk, pre-trial, on statute-of-limitation grounds.

Ivanka Trump, a former executive vice president at the Trump Organization through 2016, is in the attorney general’s number 14 witness slot and will testify first out of all the Trumps.

The former president’s eldest daughter, an original plaintiff of the lawsuit, was released from the case after an appeals court found the claims against her were too old.

Now, she must testify against her father and brothers Donald Trump, Jr., and Eric Trump, who all remain as plaintiffs.

Ivanka Trump negotiated financing for the company before leaving for Washington, DC, with her father in 2017. The AG had accused her of causing misleading financial statements to be submitted to Deutsche Bank, Trump Org’s biggest lender, and to the federal government in connection with Trump’s development of the Old Post Office building in Washington.

The list shows that the state’s first scheduled witness will be Donald Bender, Trump’s former top accountant. Bender is a partner at Mazars USA, the firm that, in the wake of James’ fraud allegations, announced in February that it could no longer stand by the accuracy of a decade of financial statements prepared for Trump.

Mazars unceremoniously dumped the Trumps in the midst of preparing the family taxes last year.

The Trump Organization’s top payroll man, or “controller,” Jeffrey McConney, implicated in the company’s Manhattan payroll fraud conviction last year, as is former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in the payroll case.

Also among the earliest planned witnesses is Trump’s fixer-turned-foe, Michael Cohen. The former Trump personal attorney drew the number six witness slot.

Cohen’s 2019 Congressional testimony first alerted the world to what the trial judge has already ruled was rampant fraud in Trump’s annual financial statements to banks and insurers.

James has credited Cohen’s testimony with sparking the three-year investigation that led her to file the fraud lawsuit at the center of the upcoming trial.

There are 25 witnesses in all on James’ list, including Trump corporate employees, lenders, insurers and appraisers, all compelled by subpoena to testify. 

Trump’s list of witnesses to call at trial, also filed Thursday, has 127 witnesses on it, though these are listed in alphabetical, not sequential, order.

The list indicates that on their direct defense case, they, too, intend to call Donald Trump and Eric Trump, who continues to manage the Trump Organization. They do not list Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., as witnesses.

In a blockbuster ruling Tuesday, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron found that the AG has already proven her lawsuit’s central allegation – that Donald Trump annual financial statements to banks and insurers fraudulently exaggerated his worth by as much as $3.6 billion a year.

Engoron also ordered that the company’s New York incorporation licenses be immediately revoked, and that in 30 days a receiver be appointed to begin the “dissolution” of assets – something experts are calling the “corporate death penalty.”

The practical parameters of the ruling remain unclear; at a hearing Wednesday, the judge gave a Trump attorney no guidance on the significant question of what, precisely, would ultimately have to be sold off. 

The upcoming trial will determine monetary penalties, and whether Trump and his two eldest sons will be forever banned from running a business in New York state, as James has requested.

The trial will determine whether the other defendants, including Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., a Trump Org executive vice president and trustee, are also liable for fraud.

It will also determine if the plaintiffs are liable for specific violations of state law, including falsification of business records, issuing false financial statements, and insurance fraud.


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