Eric Trump, in testimony that he was combative throughout on Thursday, distanced himself from the Trump Organization’s financial statements and laid blame on outside accountants.
“I never worked on the statement of financial condition,” he testified in the civil fraud case brought by New York’s attorney general. The case includes defendants Eric Trump, his brother Donald Trump Jr., former President Donald J. Trump and the family’s company — which Eric Trump had run.
Andrew Amer, a lawyer on the attorney general’s team, spent much of his hourlong examination trying to disprove Eric Trump’s claim. He showed, for example, that Eric Trump was likely to have been aware of the statements while working on a golf club deal a decade ago in North Carolina.
Toward the end of Thursday’s court session, Mr. Amer also drilled down on the value of the family’s golf club in Westchester County, NY, seeking to show that Eric Trump had ignored an independent appraisal of the property when advising an employee about how much it it was worth.
Mr. Trump disputed that he paid much attention to appraisals, despite Mr. Amer showing several emails in which he had corresponded with an appraiser about appraisals.
“I’m an operator, I’m a construction guy,” Mr. Trump said, sounding irritated. “I build projects. I don’t focus on appraisals.”
His demeanor was a stark contrast from his brother, who had appeared to take his stint on the stand in stride.
Mr. Amer seemed to think he had gotten the upper hand. In the closing moments of the day, he made a point of telling the courtroom that Eric Trump’s testimony was “great” and “favorable to our case.”