Closing Arguments Set to Begin in Lawsuit Against Former President Trump and His Business Empire

NEW YORK, NY – The closing arguments in the non-jury civil trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James against former President Donald Trump and his business empire are set to be delivered on Thursday. The trial, which began in October, stems from James’ lawsuit alleging that Trump inflated his financial statements and deceived banks. Trump and his family have denied any wrongdoing, with the former president insisting that his assets were undervalued and that his financial statements had disclaimers requesting evaluation by the banks. It remains uncertain whether Trump will be present for the proceedings.

The trial took an unexpected turn when Judge Arthur Engoron rescinded the court’s offer for Trump to deliver his own closing argument in the case. Initially, Engoron had approved the request with certain limitations, but later imposed a deadline for Trump’s attorney to agree to abide by the rules. As the deadline passed without a response, Engoron concluded that Trump would not be speaking in court.

James is seeking over $370 million in repayment from Trump and his family, claiming that these funds would represent the profits gained through illicit means. In a previous ruling, Engoron found that Trump and the Trump Organization had committed fraud by overvaluing assets and exaggerating net worth on financial documents. Throughout the trial, Trump’s defense has presented witnesses, including former Deutsche Bank executives, who emphasized the bank’s desire to conduct substantial business with Trump. Expert witnesses, such as accounting professor Eli Bartov from New York University, have also testified that they found no evidence of accounting fraud in the Trump financial statements.

As the case enters its final stages, the outcome remains uncertain. The trial has garnered significant attention given Trump’s status as a former president and the potential financial implications for him and his business empire. The closing arguments will provide the opportunity for both the prosecution and defense to make their final case before the judge’s decision.