Donald Trump testifies in New York civil fraud trial

After years of preparation, former President Donald Trump has finally taken the witness stand in a lower Manhattan courtroom to testify in his family’s New York fraud trial.

In 2020, when his son Eric Trump lost his battle against a subpoena, the investigation—headed by New York Attorney General Letitia James—became widely known. A $250 million lawsuit was brought by James’ office two years later, charging Trump, the Trump Organization, and many executives—including his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr.—of a multi-year fraud conspiracy. Both of them have denied any wrongdoing, and Trump has frequently charged James with following him for political gain.

Donald Trump testified that he would have added brand value to his financial statements if he wanted to “build” them up.

“If I wanted to build up the statement, like you said I did before you found out just how rich we are, I would’ve added brand value here and I would’ve increased it by tens of millions of dollars,” Trump said in reference to his statements of financial conditions.

Trump arrived shortly before 10 a.m. and made brief remarks before entering the courtroom, reiterating his criticism of the trial.

“It’s a terrible, terrible thing. These are political operatives that I’m going to be dealing with right now,” Trump said in brief remarks before entering the courtroom. “It’s a very sad situation for our country.”