Donald Trump Jr. returned to the witness stand Monday to give his family’s side of the story in the New York attorney general’s civil fraud trial against Donald Trump.
Trump Jr.’s testimony often appeared as a lengthy effort to rehabilitate the image of the Trump Organization in the eyes of Judge Arthur Engoron. The former president’s son gushed about the properties he said his father had transformed from dilapidated run-down tracts of land into spectacular and magnificent buildings and golf courses.
Trump Jr., a co-defendant in the case, was glowing as he described the company’s portfolio – lauding praise on his father as a visionary and a real estate “artist” and talking up the value of the buildings after six weeks of testimony from the attorney general alleging that the valuations of the properties were fraudulently inflated.
The testimony signaled how Trump’s lawyers plan to mount a defense in a case in which Engoron has already ruled the former president and his co-defendants were liable for fraud. Engoron is now deciding six additional claims and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Here are key takeaways from Monday’s day in court:
Trump Jr. boasts about the Trump Org. portfolio: Trump lawyer Cliff Robert spent most of the day asking Trump Jr. to walk through nearly the entire portfolio of the Trump Org.
Trump Jr. discussed the various projects around the world over the past several decades, narrating a sleekly produced promotional timeline from the company’s website. He described various golf holes, clubhouses, architecture and other features of the Trump properties as beauty shots were displayed in the courtroom.
While talking about the Seven Springs resort, a Westchester, New York, property that’s part of the attorney general’s case, Trump Jr. said the property was “spectacular” and a “potential canvas for [his] father’s art.”
“He’s an artist with real estate. He sees the things that other people don’t,” Trump Jr. said of his father.
The Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, was swampland before his father took it over. “No one for decades had seen any value in it,” Trump Jr. said, and his father turned it into “one of the finest golf clubs in the world.”
And of the Trump National Doral Golf Club in Florida, Trump Jr. said: “He saw a jewel in the rough and wanted to bring it back to its former glory.”
At one point, Robert even played the company’s promotional video of the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, featuring golf legend Jack Nicklaus praising the course.