Judge Denies Trump’s Attempt To Block Expert Testimony In Sweeping Trial

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At trial on Tuesday in the civil case from New York state Attorney General Letitia James alleging a years-long pattern of fraud at the Trump family business, presiding Judge Arthur Engoron rejected an early motion from Trump’s corner to block then-imminent testimony from an expert witness set for questioning by James’ team.

The pending testimony was from an individual named Michael McCarty, and ABC News provided a summary of what McCarty’s questioning was expected to cover. McCarty was set “to testify later today about the financial implications of Trump’s inflated assets — context that is expected to guide the judge’s determination about the size of fine Trump faces, if any,” ABC said early Tuesday. Rejecting the Trumps’ attempt to block McCarty’s testimony, Engoron also generally upheld the prospect of financial penalties on Trump responding to improper profits stemming from the fraudulent activity James has angled to prove.

Also soon testifying will be core members of the ex-president’s family, including his adult children Donald Jr. and Eric, both of whom are set for questioning this week. They’re also both named in the underlying case, unlike Ivanka Trump — who’s nonetheless also facing questioning. And the older Trump himself is also set to go under oath next week in what’s sure to be a contentious period, considering the obsessive nature of the ex-president’s past antagonism towards James, Engoron, and others.

Heading into that period of trial, Michael Cohen — the former president’s ex-personal attorney — already pointed to claimed involvement in the disputed statements of financial condition by those Trump children. He also argued the ex-president pushed for arbitrarily raising stated valuations for his assets, though Cohen said Donald was indirect, essentially giving himself potentially plausible deniability here.

Trump himself, meanwhile, just keeps contending that high valuations for key assets of his are actually accurate, though the hits have been coming from outside of court, too. The financial news publication Forbes said that Trump ally Allen Weisselberg misrepresented on the stand his past emphasis on Trump’s personal residence at Trump Tower in Manhattan in discussions of Trump’s portfolio. Additionally, Forbes also shared details on Ivanka’s alleged involvement in misrepresenting the financial condition around Trump assets, such as by claiming an interest rate for a mortgage that fell below the true costs.