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Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump set to testify in New York fraud trial

Donald Trump Jr. (R) and Eric Trump look on as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

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The two oldest sons of former President Donald Trump are set to testify Thursday in the $250 million New York fraud trial against the Trump family and business.

Donald Trump Jr., who began his testimony Wednesday afternoon, is set to resume speaking in the morning. In his first day on the stand, Trump Jr. said he relied largely on the expertise of accountants and did not recall working on financial records at the heart of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case.

Eric Trump, described in the lawsuit as being “responsible for all aspects of management and operation of the Trump Organization,” is expected to be called to the witness stand later Thursday.

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James’ civil lawsuit alleges a decade-long scheme to falsely inflate Trump’s net worth by billions of dollars in order to get various financial perks, including tax benefits and better loan terms.

The case poses a massive threat to Trump’s ability to do business in New York, the longtime headquarters for the Queens native’s operations. In addition to seeking around a quarter of a billion dollars in damages, James wants to permanently bar Trump and his sons from running a New York business.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has already found Trump and the other defendants liable for fraudulently misstating the values of his assets on financial statements. The trial, which is taking place without a jury, centers on six other claims alleged by James. The defendants are appealing Engoron’s pretrial ruling.

The brothers and co-defendants, who took over the Trump Organization as executive vice presidents after their father went to the White House in 2017, arrived at the Manhattan Supreme Court together on Thursday morning.

They are the first of four members of the Trump family expected to testify in the trial. The former president himself is expected to be called on Monday, and his daughter Ivanka Trump is set to take the stand on Nov. 8.

Ivanka Trump was originally listed as a co-defendant but was removed on statute-of-limitations grounds by a New York appeals court earlier this year.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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