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Eric Trump testifies in New York civil fraud trial. Former President Trump is next

Eric Trump sits in the courtroom alongside his attorneys for his second day of testimony during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Friday in New York City.
Dave Sanders
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Pool/Getty Images
Eric Trump sits in the courtroom alongside his attorneys for his second day of testimony during his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Friday in New York City.

Updated November 3, 2023 at 11:46 AM ET

Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and a son of former President Donald Trump, wrapped up his testimony on Friday at a civil trial at the New York County Supreme Court.

The trial accuses him, his brother Donald Trump Jr., and his father of knowingly committing fraud by submitting statements of financial condition that inflated the value of their properties and other assets.

During his second day of testimony, Eric Trump reiterated that he relied on others to ensure the statements were accurate. Documents shown during the trial by the attorney general's legal team also showed Trump had to sign off on the statements estimating the values of some of the Trump Organization's properties.

Andrew Amer, a lawyer for the attorney general, opened questioning on Thursday by asking Eric Trump about his role within the Trump Organization before, during and after the Donald Trump presidency, and the hierarchy within the business.

Eric Trump at first denied having "anything to do" with the statements of financial condition.

"I pour concrete, I operate properties," he repeated, arguing he was not involved in the creation of the statements.

Email correspondence between Trump and then-controller of the Trump Organization Jeffrey McConney (now co-defendant) was shown during the trial where Trump was asked to review and give input on the statements and properties in the statements.

"We were a major organization, a massive real estate organization," Trump said, adding "of course, I was clear we had financial statements. Absolutely."

Trump said he understood it "as someone from accounting was asking me for descriptions of properties I was working on at the time."

Donald Trump Jr. was the first family member to testify

Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump arrive at New York Supreme Court for former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on Thursday in New York City.
David Dee Delgado / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump arrive at New York Supreme Court for former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial on Thursday in New York City.

Eric's brother Donald Trump Jr., another executive vice president of the Trump Organization, concluded his testimony on Thursday.

When asked directly by New York Judge Arthur Engoron if he had anything to do with statements of financial condition issued by the Trump Organization, Trump Jr. said "No, I did not, your honor."

Throughout his testimony, Trump Jr. said he relied on others to vet the statements of financial condition. The statements, which trustees of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust were "responsible for" according to the documents shown in the trial, have already been found to be fraudulent by the judge.

Colleen Faherty, another lawyer for the attorney general, asked Trump Jr. about his prior roles in the Trump Organization and as a trustee of the Trump Revocable Trust. She also asked about the hierarchy in the business and where it placed him, his brother, his father and Allen Weisselberg, the former Trump Organization chief financial officer, who are all defendants in the trial.

Trump Jr. testified that he didn't recall being involved in the compilation of the statements of financial condition for Donald Trump, but that he had the responsibility to sign off on the documents. He said he relied on others, like Weisselberg, to vet the documents.

Former President Donald Trump to testify soon

The former president is expected to take the witness stand on Monday, marking the first time he is formally called up to publicly testify in any of his pending trials.

Ivanka Trump, the former president's daughter, is also scheduled to testify next week. She is not a defendant.

Although Engoron has already ruled that the Trump Organization filed fraudulent statements of financial condition, several issues remain to be resolved at trial. This includes whether the fraud was committed on purpose and how much of a penalty should be paid if the defendants are found liable.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.