Trump fraud trial live updates: Day 2 begins with testimony from ex-Trump accountant

Table of Contents

What to know about Day 2 of Trump’s fraud trial

  • Today is the second day of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump, his company and two of his adult children.
  • The case, which does not have a jury and will be decided solely by Judge Arthur Engoron, could have widespread implications for the former president’s businesses.
  • The former president told reporters during a break that he’ll take the witness stand in the case “at the appropriate time.” Trump is on both the attorney general’s and his own team’s witness lists.
  • Here are highlights from Day 1.

6m ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Trump says he’ll testify in ‘scam’ fraud case

Dareh Gregorian

The former president told reporters during the break that he’ll take the witness stand in the case “at the appropriate time.”

“I will,” Trump said.

Trump is on both the AG and his own team’s witness lists.

He also delivered some mixed messages on the financial statements that the judge has already found are fraudulent, maintaining the statements were “incredibly strong” while also saying that there were disclaimers suggesting financial institutions shouldn’t rely on them.

“There was absolutely no fraud,” he said, calling the AG’s case against him “a scam and a fraud.”

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Copied9m ago / 3:55 PM UTC

The trial is back

Adam Reiss

Trump re-entered the courtroom after a short break and mouthed something to a person in the front row out of earshot of reporters. Once again he avoided any eye contact with James.

The judge said he needs to be firmer in the length of breaks, noting that if people don’t return in time, he’s going to start anyway.

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Copied31m ago / 3:33 PM UTC

Break time

After roughly an hour of witness testimony, the trial is taking a 15-minute break.

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Copied40m ago / 3:25 PM UTC

Explainer: Breaking down the civil and the criminal cases against Trump

Oct. 3, 202303:37

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Copied1h ago / 2:54 PM UTC

Engoron jokes around, but Trump is not having it

Adam Reiss

Engoron has a dry sense of humor and there are often moments of levity amid the seriousness of this trial.

Trump does not appreciate any of it. He leaned over to Habba after the recent giggles and appeared to make a negative comment about the jokes.

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Copied1h ago / 2:52 PM UTC

Witness testifies financial info came from Trumps, not him

Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian

Continuing his testimony on the witness stand, former Trump accountant Donald Bender testified that the information he used to compile Trump’s financial statements came from the Trump Organization, not him.

The judge has already found the financial statements were grossly inflated and fraudulent.

The AG’s office is trying to show a pattern of behavior through documents bolstering Bender’s claim, indicating he and the accounting company he worked for relied on documents that Trump and his company provided them.

That included entering into evidence a letter that Allen Weisselberg, then the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, sent Bender, which read, “We are responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the statement on financial condition in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.”

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Copied2h ago / 2:27 PM UTC

Engoron pushes back against Trump’s claim that he tossed most of the AG’s case

Dareh Gregorian and Adam Reiss

Engoron knocked down Trump’s erroneous claim yesterday that he’d reversed his earlier ruling and tossed 80% of the attorney general’s case. The judge explained that’s not what he did, but that he knows Trump’s side disagrees vigorously and is appealing.

In general, Trump seems to be in a somewhat better mood today, not as angry as he confers with both Alina Habba and Chris Kise.

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Copied2h ago / 2:24 PM UTC

Day 2 of the trial has begun

Summer Concepcion

The second day of Trump’s fraud trial has started. Former Trump Organization accountant Donald Bender is back on the witness stand.

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Copied2h ago / 2:20 PM UTC

Trump is in the courtroom

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Trump has entered the courtroom wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red tie. He is flanked by lawyers Chris Kise and Alina Habba.

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Copied2h ago / 2:17 PM UTC

Trump rails against James before entering courtroom

Summer Concepcion

Shortly after arriving at the courthouse, Trump went on a rant attacking James as he denied wrongdoing in the case.

“This case should be dismissed,” he said. “This is not a case and she should probably be dismissed also because she’s terrible and grossly incompetent.”

“Her numbers are fraudulent, she’s a fraud,” he added. “The numbers are fraudulent, and this case should be dismissed and to get on to violent crime and solving the problems of New York City and New York state.”

He then walked into the courtroom.

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Copied2h ago / 1:41 PM UTC

Trump legal team disputes James’ claim that it never requested a jury trial

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Trump spokesperson and attorney Alina Habba pushed back on claims by James’ office that his legal team never asked for a jury trial. James’ office told NBC News that Trump’s attorneys never asked for a jury trial, and even if they had, it is likely they would not have received one.

“Many false arguments are circulating regarding President Trump’s Trial in New York and the possibility of a jury trial,” Habba said in a statement.

A Trump spokesperson also disputed claims by James’ office in a statement: “The Attorney General filed this case under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury. There was never an option to choose a jury trial. It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”

According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, the remedies sought by the attorney general are primarily of a kind that can be awarded only by a judge.

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Copied2h ago / 1:40 PM UTC

Trump, James arrive at New York courthouse

Alana Satlin

Trump and James arrived at the New York courthouse around shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET. The proceedings are expected to start around 10 a.m. ET.

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Copied3h ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Trump ramps up attacks against James in early morning posts

Summer Concepcion

Trump has continued his attacks against James hours before he returns to court for the second day of arguments in the civil fraud trial that the New York attorney general brought against him and his company.

In two posts on his Truth Social platform this morning, Trump used derogatory terms to attack James while denying any wrongdoing against allegations that he inflated his assets.

“People are starting to see what a great company I built through the trial started by the Racist Attorney General of New York State, Letitia ‘Peekaboo’ James. It was all supposed to be private, but in many ways it is exposing great success. Incredible assets, lots of cash, and it only gets better,” Trump posted at 1:37 a.m.

He posted another rant at 7:32 a.m., calling James a “deranged lunatic” and a “monster” and attacking Engoron’s ruling last week, which found that Trump had committed fraud for years.

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Copied3h ago / 12:59 PM UTC

N.Y. AG plans to attend today’s proceedings

Jesse Rodriguez and Zoë Richards

James plans to be in the courtroom again today, according to a person familiar with her plans.

She was in attendance yesterday when the trial got underway.

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Copied4h ago / 12:00 PM UTC

What happened at the first day of the trial

Zoë Richards

The civil fraud trial against Trump and his company began yesterday with opening statements followed by heated exchanges.

James’ office called its first witness: former Trump accountant Donald Bender, who previously testified in the state’s criminal trial against the Trump Organization.

While James’ office highlighted testimony from key associates, Trump attorney Chris Kise argued that there was no intent to defraud lenders.

Kise also got into a heated exchange with Engoron over a question about the relevance of certain evidence.

Trump was in court and blasted both James and Engoron during a lunch break. Engoron will decide the case since it’s a bench trial without a jury.

Speaking to reporters after the first day of the trial, Trump repeated claims that the case amounted to election interference, arguing it was keeping him off the campaign trail as he seeks the GOP presidential nomination for 2024.

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Copied4h ago / 12:00 PM UTC

Trump’s former accountant to continue testimony this morning

Zoë Richards

Donald Bender, Trump’s former accountant, is expected to continue his testimony in court this morning.

Bender was the first witness called by the New York Attorney General’s Office yesterday. He shared details about how he compiled Trump’s financial statements.

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Copied NEWUPDATESNBC News6m ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Trump says he’ll testify in ‘scam’ fraud case

Dareh Gregorian

The former president told reporters during the break that he’ll take the witness stand in the case “at the appropriate time.”

“I will,” Trump said.

Trump is on both the AG and his own team’s witness lists.

He also delivered some mixed messages on the financial statements that the judge has already found are fraudulent, maintaining the statements were “incredibly strong” while also saying that there were disclaimers suggesting financial institutions shouldn’t rely on them.

“There was absolutely no fraud,” he said, calling the AG’s case against him “a scam and a fraud.”

  • Share this –

Copied9m ago / 3:55 PM UTC

The trial is back

Adam Reiss

Trump re-entered the courtroom after a short break and mouthed something to a person in the front row out of earshot of reporters. Once again he avoided any eye contact with James.

The judge said he needs to be firmer in the length of breaks, noting that if people don’t return in time, he’s going to start anyway.

  • Share this –

Copied31m ago / 3:33 PM UTC

Break time

After roughly an hour of witness testimony, the trial is taking a 15-minute break.

  • Share this –

Copied40m ago / 3:25 PM UTC

Explainer: Breaking down the civil and the criminal cases against Trump

Oct. 3, 202303:37

  • Share this –

Copied1h ago / 2:54 PM UTC

Engoron jokes around, but Trump is not having it

Adam Reiss

Engoron has a dry sense of humor and there are often moments of levity amid the seriousness of this trial.

Trump does not appreciate any of it. He leaned over to Habba after the recent giggles and appeared to make a negative comment about the jokes.

  • Share this –

Copied1h ago / 2:52 PM UTC

Witness testifies financial info came from Trumps, not him

Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian

Continuing his testimony on the witness stand, former Trump accountant Donald Bender testified that the information he used to compile Trump’s financial statements came from the Trump Organization, not him.

The judge has already found the financial statements were grossly inflated and fraudulent.

The AG’s office is trying to show a pattern of behavior through documents bolstering Bender’s claim, indicating he and the accounting company he worked for relied on documents that Trump and his company provided them.

That included entering into evidence a letter that Allen Weisselberg, then the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, sent Bender, which read, “We are responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the statement on financial condition in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.”

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 2:27 PM UTC

Engoron pushes back against Trump’s claim that he tossed most of the AG’s case

Dareh Gregorian and Adam Reiss

Engoron knocked down Trump’s erroneous claim yesterday that he’d reversed his earlier ruling and tossed 80% of the attorney general’s case. The judge explained that’s not what he did, but that he knows Trump’s side disagrees vigorously and is appealing.

In general, Trump seems to be in a somewhat better mood today, not as angry as he confers with both Alina Habba and Chris Kise.

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 2:24 PM UTC

Day 2 of the trial has begun

Summer Concepcion

The second day of Trump’s fraud trial has started. Former Trump Organization accountant Donald Bender is back on the witness stand.

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 2:20 PM UTC

Trump is in the courtroom

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Trump has entered the courtroom wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red tie. He is flanked by lawyers Chris Kise and Alina Habba.

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 2:17 PM UTC

Trump rails against James before entering courtroom

Summer Concepcion

Shortly after arriving at the courthouse, Trump went on a rant attacking James as he denied wrongdoing in the case.

“This case should be dismissed,” he said. “This is not a case and she should probably be dismissed also because she’s terrible and grossly incompetent.”

“Her numbers are fraudulent, she’s a fraud,” he added. “The numbers are fraudulent, and this case should be dismissed and to get on to violent crime and solving the problems of New York City and New York state.”

He then walked into the courtroom.

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 1:41 PM UTC

Trump legal team disputes James’ claim that it never requested a jury trial

Adam Reiss and Summer Concepcion

Trump spokesperson and attorney Alina Habba pushed back on claims by James’ office that his legal team never asked for a jury trial. James’ office told NBC News that Trump’s attorneys never asked for a jury trial, and even if they had, it is likely they would not have received one.

“Many false arguments are circulating regarding President Trump’s Trial in New York and the possibility of a jury trial,” Habba said in a statement.

A Trump spokesperson also disputed claims by James’ office in a statement: “The Attorney General filed this case under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury. There was never an option to choose a jury trial. It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”

According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, the remedies sought by the attorney general are primarily of a kind that can be awarded only by a judge.

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 1:40 PM UTC

Trump, James arrive at New York courthouse

Alana Satlin

Trump and James arrived at the New York courthouse around shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET. The proceedings are expected to start around 10 a.m. ET.

  • Share this –

Copied3h ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Trump ramps up attacks against James in early morning posts

Summer Concepcion

Trump has continued his attacks against James hours before he returns to court for the second day of arguments in the civil fraud trial that the New York attorney general brought against him and his company.

In two posts on his Truth Social platform this morning, Trump used derogatory terms to attack James while denying any wrongdoing against allegations that he inflated his assets.

“People are starting to see what a great company I built through the trial started by the Racist Attorney General of New York State, Letitia ‘Peekaboo’ James. It was all supposed to be private, but in many ways it is exposing great success. Incredible assets, lots of cash, and it only gets better,” Trump posted at 1:37 a.m.

He posted another rant at 7:32 a.m., calling James a “deranged lunatic” and a “monster” and attacking Engoron’s ruling last week, which found that Trump had committed fraud for years.

  • Share this –

Copied3h ago / 12:59 PM UTC

N.Y. AG plans to attend today’s proceedings

Jesse Rodriguez and Zoë Richards

James plans to be in the courtroom again today, according to a person familiar with her plans.

She was in attendance yesterday when the trial got underway.

  • Share this –

Copied4h ago / 12:00 PM UTC

What happened at the first day of the trial

Zoë Richards

The civil fraud trial against Trump and his company began yesterday with opening statements followed by heated exchanges.

James’ office called its first witness: former Trump accountant Donald Bender, who previously testified in the state’s criminal trial against the Trump Organization.

While James’ office highlighted testimony from key associates, Trump attorney Chris Kise argued that there was no intent to defraud lenders.

Kise also got into a heated exchange with Engoron over a question about the relevance of certain evidence.

Trump was in court and blasted both James and Engoron during a lunch break. Engoron will decide the case since it’s a bench trial without a jury.

Speaking to reporters after the first day of the trial, Trump repeated claims that the case amounted to election interference, arguing it was keeping him off the campaign trail as he seeks the GOP presidential nomination for 2024.

  • Share this –

Copied4h ago / 12:00 PM UTC

Trump’s former accountant to continue testimony this morning

Zoë Richards

Donald Bender, Trump’s former accountant, is expected to continue his testimony in court this morning.

Bender was the first witness called by the New York Attorney General’s Office yesterday. He shared details about how he compiled Trump’s financial statements.

  • Share this –

Copied

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