Donald Trump Jr. completed two days of testimony in the Trump civil fraud trial in New York.
Before he yielded the stand to Eric Trump, a state attorney disclosed a significant detail.
NY now wants some of the $60M sale of Trump's Bronx golf course, above the $250M originally sought.
New York officials want even higher penalties from Donald Trump than the $250 million they've already said they're seeking, as was disclosed during testimony Thursday by Donald Trump Jr.
The former president's namesake son was just wrapping the final hour of his testimony in the New York civil fraud trial when the financial bombshell fell: Donald Trump could now face millions more in penalties.
A lawyer for the office said in court that the state attorney general's office now wanted a piece of $60 million Donald Trump received earlier this year. The money was what the gaming giant Bally's paid Trump to take over the former president's lease for a public golf course in the Bronx.
Just how much of the $60 million New York is set to ask for was not detailed in the Manhattan courtroom, where the trial is ending its fifth week.
The new cash grab was disclosed in what started as jovial testimony.
"This is a big one," Colleen Faherty, a lawyer for state AG Letitia James, began, calling back to a joke Trump Jr. had made minutes earlier.
"That's a big one," he had joked of a 2019 letter when he was told to turn to his signature on page 100.
This next document was even bigger, Faherty said, smiling. It was the nearly 400-page agreement of sale for the golf-course lease. It was signed by Trump Jr., the president of Trump Ferry Point LLC, which held the lease.
"Mr. Trump, I'm not going to ask you to go over the whole thing," Faherty joked of the bulky sale agreement.
"I appreciate that," Trump Jr. joked back.
When instructed to turn to page 34 and asked, "Tell me if you recognize that signature there," he answered, "That's my signature."
"This transaction did, in fact, close?" Faherty asked. Trump Jr. said it had.
At this point, a defense lawyer objected, questioning the relevance of the lease sale to the case.
It's not mentioned in James' $250 million lawsuit, objected the lawyer, Christopher Kise. The lawyer also complained that Trump's "world-class golf course" in the Bronx, as he called it, was not involved in any alleged fraud.
That's when Faherty dropped the word "disgorgement" — the legal term for the forced repayment, by a court, of ill-gotten gains — thereby letting the cat out of the bag.
The golf lease sale and the sale proceeds were relevant, Faherty argued, because that money was "subject to disgorgement."
The judge in the non-jury trial, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, allowed the lease-sale document to be entered into evidence, and its pages were displayed on overhead screens in the courtroom.
"How much did you make in this transaction, Mr. Trump?" Faherty asked, referring to Trump Jr.'s position as president of the Trump Ferry Point LLC.
There was another flurry of objections, cut short when Trump Jr. cheerfully mooted the dispute by cracking, "I didn't make any."
"The sale price was $60 million," he said. "But we also had other costs" from the yearslong process of selling the lease, he added. "So I don't know the exact net number for profit."
The AG's office has said it will ask for a total of at least $250 million in total "disgorgement" from her lawsuit's defendants: Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and the longtime Trump Organization executives Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.
The figure includes many millions of dollars in loan-interest discounts and property-sale profits, including from Trump's sale of the Old Post Office lease, which he'd owned in running the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
The full disgorgement amount is set to be determined by the judge sometime after trial testimony concludes in late December.
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