Two Trump accountants expected to testify today
Donald Bender, who was Trump’s longtime accountant, is expected to be back on the witness stand today as the former president’s attorneys continue their cross examination of the attorney general’s first witness in the case.
Lawyers for the AG said in court yesterday that they might seek some additional questioning of Bender when Trump’s team is done with their cross-examination.
After Bender finishes his testimony, the AG’s office is expected to call Camron Harris, who works for Whitley Penn, the accounting firm that succeeded Bender’s firm as Trump’s accountants.
If Harris’ testimony wraps up on the same day it starts, he would be followed by Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president at the Trump Organization who’s also a named defendant in the $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his adult sons and his company.
He’ll be back: Trump said he will attend today’s trial
Trump is expected to attend Day 3 of the civil fraud trial, after initially indicating he’d only be there in person for the first two days.
“It’s been a very good day,” Trump said while leaving court yesterday. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”
The former president’s aides initially said he would leave court during the lunch break on Day 2, and then head back to Florida the following day. Instead, Trump wound up staying the entire day before announcing he’d return for today’s proceedings, presumably because he wants to watch his lawyers continue their cross examination of his longtime former accountant Donald Bender.
Trump appeared agitated at times watching Bender’s direct testimony on the first day of the trial.
What happened on Day 2
Trump attended the first two days of trial, and wound up getting hit with a gag order yesterday after posting a picture of Judge Arthur Engoron’s law clerk with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on social media and insinuating they had a personal relationship.
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I won’t tolerate it,” Engoron said, issuing a gag order “on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff.” He warned that any violations would be met with swift sanctions.
On the witness stand yesterday was Trump’s longtime accountant Donald Bender, who told lawyers from the New York Attorney General’s Office that he compiled Trump’s financial statements using information from Trump and his company, and that he later found they’d failed to hand over some important documents.
Under cross examination from Trump’s lawyer, Bender acknowledged that he had accounting expertise that Trump’s financial team did not, and that he was responsible for making sure everything was submitted correctly.