A portion of Michael Cohen’s potentially damning video deposition became public Monday as the New York Attorney General’s $250 million fraud case against former President Donald Trump began in a Manhattan courtroom.
The video clip of Cohen’s sworn testimony was played by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron during opening remarks from the attorney general’s office in the civil trial where the former president is accused of inflating his net worth in financial documents to get an edge in business and save hundreds of millions of dollars.
Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer,” described how the real estate mogul would call him and Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, into his office and ask them to increase their value, in part so he could take a highest place on the list. Forbes Billionaires List.
“Let’s say it said it was worth $6 billion,” Cohen said during the April 28 deposition. “Well, he wanted to be higher on the Forbes list and then he said, ‘Actually, I’m not worth 6 billion. I’m worth a 7. In fact, I think I’m worth an 8 now with everything that’s going on.’”
“Allen and I were tasked with taking the assets, growing each of those asset classes to accommodate that $8 billion figure,” Cohen said in the video.
A video clip of Michael Cohen’s deposition in the $250 million civil fraud case against Donald Trump was released Monday. New York State Attorney General
Trump, who attended the first day of the trial, prompting protesters to show up outside the courtroom, grimaced as he watched his former ally’s testimony in the packed courtroom.
The recorded testimony was released along with brief clips of video depositions from the 45th president and his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., as well as Weisselberg, in which each denied involvement in the company’s accounting.
Eric, the executive vice president of Trump Org, said in his March 7 deposition that he did not recall being involved in the preparation of the financial disclosure statements in which his father allegedly lied from 2011 to 2021.
Cohen claims in sworn testimony that Trump made him inflate the company’s assets to a figure that Trump believed his company was worth. Steven Hirsch
In brief segments of Don Jr. and Weisselberg’s sworn testimony videos – dated July 28, 2022 and May 12, 2023 respectively – each said they knew nothing about GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, standards that are used. prepare and present financial statements.
Meanwhile, in the clip of Trump’s statement, taken on April 13, he said Weisselberg handled the company’s GAAP.
A lawyer for the attorney general’s office, Kevin Wallace, told the judge that Trump, 77, and his co-defendants lied “year after year after year” about their wealth.
Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, gave sworn testimony earlier this year. REUTERS Trump’s lawyers said in their opening arguments Monday that the case, in part, hinges on the word of Cohen, a liar and convicted felon. New York State Attorney General
Trump’s lawyers argued in their opening remarks that the attorney general’s case rested on the word of Cohen, a convicted felon, and that his testimony was not credible.
They also claimed that Trump did not commit fraud that harmed banks and insurers, but rather that these companies made millions from the former president, who repaid all the loans he took out.
With opening statements concluded, the first witness, Donald Bender, a partner at the accounting firm Mazar’s, was called to testify about the time his firm spent handling the Trump Org account.