The Wildest Moments From Donald Trump Jr.'s Fraud Trial Testimony

The Trump family has been accused of illegal business practices in the past, but now these accusations have actually gone to court. In 2018, The New York Times dug into the Trump family's finances and found some eyebrow-raising evidence of criminal activity throughout the business empire, particularly related to some rather questionable tax avoidance schemes. Since the Times' exposé, members of the Trump family have found themselves under increased legal scrutiny.

Fast forward to October 2023, and a civil trial in New York has commenced. Former president Donald Trump, his sons, and their family business are at the center of accusations related to fraud. Authorities contend that the Trump Organization knowingly inflated the values of their assets in official documents, and Donald Trump himself allegedly exaggerated his net worth by a staggering $3.6 billion, per CNN.

This high-stakes trial has drawn plenty of attention, especially following the testimonies of two of Donald Trump's sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Trump Jr.'s testimony in particular is making waves in the media, as the businessman maintains his innocence despite solid evidence that says otherwise, according to the Associated Press. The outcome of this trial could be yet another blow to the Trump family's legacy, and what Trump Jr. said on the stand may contribute to the downfall.

Donald Trump Jr. denies all accusations of fraud

Despite being executive vice president and a trustee of the Trump Organization, Donald Trump Jr. claimed that he had no control over his father's financial reporting. Trump Jr. and Eric Trump both took on high-level roles in the organization once Donald Trump entered the White House in 2016. Since then, the real estate empire has been their responsibility — except when it comes to legal matters, that is.

In court, Trump Jr. was questioned about his involvement in his father's inflated financial documents. The trustee claimed that while he signed off on the papers, he wasn't really paying attention to the validity of the numbers. "I wasn't working on the document, but if they tell me that it's accurate...based on their accounting assessment of all of the materials, these people had an incredible intimate knowledge, and I relied on them," he said, casting the blame onto accountants, per Fortune

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the trial against the Trump Organization and its executives. James and other officials claim that the Trumps' inaccurate documents were used to snag better loans from banking companies. Shortly after Trump Jr.'s testimony, Eric was called to the stand. Their sister Ivanka Trump is also reported to testify, as she was the former vice president of the organization, according to the Associated Press.

Donald Trump Jr. appeared at ease in the courtroom

Despite the gravity of the case, Donald Trump Jr. appeared all smiles as he went to testify in the civil case. As head executive of the family-run business, Trump Jr. denied any guilt, and his body language even conveyed a cockiness in court. BBC reported that he made jests in the while being grilled by prosecutors.

In a back-and-forth with counsel from the attorney general's office, Trump Jr. responded vaguely to questions about his involvement with the falsified documents. Even as news photographers entered the chamber, he joked, "I should have worn make-up." After his appearance in court, Trump Jr. made his true thoughts about the trial known. "I think it went really well, if we were actually dealing with logic and reason," he said, per Politico. "But unfortunately the AG has brought forth a case that is purely a political persecution."

Of course, the business exec was referring to his father's last presidential run. Trump is also facing four indictments concerning attempts to overturn the 2020 election. These legal troubles aren't deterring Donald Trump from the campaign trail, and even serving prison time couldn't stop him from running for the presidency again in 2024.