As Attorney General Calls Two Unexpected Witnesses Trump’s Defense Rests Case in NY Fraud Trial

As the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump in New York neared its conclusion, the New York Attorney General’s office surprised the defense team by introducing two unexpected rebuttal witnesses.

Kevin Sneddon, a former real estate broker at Trump International Realty, was brought in as a witness to rebut the testimony of Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization and a co-defendant in the case.

Eric Lewis, a professor of accounting, was introduced as an expert to counter the testimonies of accounting professors Eli Barton and Jason Flemmons, a certified public accountant (CPA).

Attorney Chris Kise, representing Trump, argued that these weren’t appropriate rebuttal witnesses. He argued that the attorney general should have presented them earlier in the case, before resting their case, and insisted that the court should not permit the prosecutors to now “backfill” their case after failing to meet the burden of proof initially.

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron allowed the rebuttals after Mr. Bartov finished his testimony.

Last week, Mr. Bartov started his testimony, asserting that he found no evidence of fraud or breaches of accounting practices and believed the case lacked merit. He proceeded to elaborate on valuation and accounting principles.

During cross-examination, Mr. Bartov faced questioning about instances where Trump Organization figures exceeded third-party reports.

This led to an objection from the defense, claiming they had “cornered” him into a yes or no response meant to “mislead” and prevented Mr. Bartov from providing the necessary qualifications.

Attorneys for the state argued that several properties owned by President Trump, such as the Seven Springs estate, Doral golf course, 40 Wall Street, Mar-a-Lago, and Aberdeen, were overvalued.

They argued that an independent report assessed the assets at half the value claimed by the Trump Organization. Mr. Bartok clarified that differences in valuations arose from varying methodologies and emphasized the importance of considering the entire context rather than focusing on a single aspect.

Mr. Bartov additionally stated in his testimony that President Trump could have funded deals like Doral with cash, although it might have required selling another property depending on the liquidity of his assets.

President Trump, initially scheduled to testify on Monday, announced over the weekend that he would no longer do so. On Tuesday, he took to social media to express that he had intended to testify but not under the ongoing gag order.

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Following the conclusion of Mr. Bartov’s testimony, the defense wrapped up its case. On Tuesday, defense attorneys once again requested a directed verdict, but the judge did not approve it.

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By Hunter Fielding
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Graham Booker
Graham Booker
2 months ago

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron allowed the rebuttals after Mr. Bartov finished his testimony.

Of course he did. Trump lawyers should do the same with rebuttal witnesses against their rebuttal witnesses.

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