McConney, when asked what Mazars did to fact-check the data, said the outside accountants would “go through the footnotes” and make necessary changes. He said he couldn’t recall ever declining to do something Bender asked him to.
Asked about their ranking on his list of responsibilities and how much time he spent working on the statements, McConney claimed “very little” outside of July and October.
“It was just a matter of gathering all the information,” he said.
Judge Arthur Engoron, in a pretrial ruling, found McConney, Weisselberg, Trump, and his older sons, Eric and Don Jr., liable for widespread fraud based on evidence they provided and did not dispute showing the statements fraudulently inflated his worth by up to $2.2 billion over several years.
He’s considering the AG’s remaining six claims at the case on trial threatening the family real estate empire, relating to the underlying conspiracy, insurance fraud, and how much money Trump and his crew illegally made by lying about his net worth. Evidence presented by the AG has shown banks lost more than $300 million in interest due to the lies.
McConney is expected to continue on the witness stand Tuesday for the defense and then face cross-examination. Trump’s lawyers have called more than half a dozen witnesses since beginning their case last week with Don Jr., who similarly blamed the outside accountants.
Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for president who is facing 91 felonies in four criminal cases and a slew of lawsuits, denies all wrongdoing along with his codefendants. He hasn’t attended his lawyers’ defense case. Their main arguments are that valuing buildings is an art, not a science, and that banks and lenders got richer by doing business with Trump.
In a tweet Monday, AG James said testimony by Trump’s expert witnesses — who have testified that the company’s method of valuing its buildings was standard — should be taken with a grain of salt.
“Several of these experts are longtime friends and golf buddies of Donald Trump,” the AG tweeted. “One had donated millions of dollars to Donald Trump’s campaign and his son even got married at Mar-a-Lago.”
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