Trump fraud trial live updates: Former president arrives at court for Day 3

What to know about Trump’s fraud trial today

  • This is the third day of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump, two of his adult children and the family’s company.
  • Trump was admonished yesterday by Judge Arthur Engoron after he attacked one of his clerks on social media.
  • Trump again slammed the trial as a “witch hunt” before heading into the courtroom today. He said yesterday he would testify at the “appropriate time.”
  • Here are highlights from Day 2.

14m ago / 3:26 PM UTC

New York civil fraud trial could seriously hamper Trump businesses

Oct. 2, 202304:19

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Copied42m ago / 2:57 PM UTC

Trump lawyer grills Bender about accounting work

Lisa Rubin

Suarez is now cross-examining Bender about some accounting principles. This is a level of deep accounting weediness that Trump is nonetheless sitting through.

Trump’s lawyers are trying to show — despite the Trump Organization’s written assertion that it, not Mazars, was responsible for the preparation of the statements in compliance with standardized accounting practices — that Bender should have known and should have guided Trump better.

They are also trying to establish, as Bender just agreed, that even under this particular standard, there is no one accepted way to estimate the current value of an asset to show that what Trump and his co-defendants did was not fraudulent, much less intentionally so.

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Copied49m ago / 2:50 PM UTC

Trump lawyer spars with his ex-accountant on the stand

Lisa Rubin, Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian

Trump attorney Jesus Suarez is mixing it up with Bender on the witness stand.

After Bender testified that a correction on the size of Trump’s triplex apartment was the work of the Trump Organization and not him, Suarez suggested that Bender was lying when he said a now-deceased accountant was his “relationship partner” at Mazars for all Trump work.

A relationship partner, in law and accounting firm parlance, is the person who might have originated the business relationship and might handle the bills, but is not necessarily the lead partner handling the work.

Suarez took Bender through a series of “engagement continuance forms” internal to his former accounting firm Mazars that listed Bender as the partner in charge. The judge seemed unimpressed, however, and suggested they move on.

Trump appears engaged with his soft-spoken former accountant’s testimony and complained at one point he couldn’t hear what Bender was saying. Bender then started speaking more clearly and closer to the microphone, often answering “I don’t recall” to Suarez’s questions.

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Copied1h ago / 2:24 PM UTC

Adam Reiss

Ex-Trump accountant Donald Bender is back on the stand.

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Copied1h ago / 2:16 PM UTC

Trump again slams trial as a ‘witch hunt’ before heading into courtroom

Summer Concepcion

Speaking outside the courtroom before the trial started, Trump again decried it as a political hit job against him as he repeated his ongoing attacks against James, whom he accused of trying to interfere with his chances of another presidential term.

“This trial is a disgrace,” he said. “Never happened — nothing like this has never happened before.”

Trump continued denying wrongdoing in the case and repeated his complaints about the lack of a jury in the trial.

“This is a witch hunt,” he said. “This is just a continuation of the witch hunt that started the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower. And it’s a shame for our country.”

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Copied1h ago / 2:13 PM UTC

Day 3 of the trial has started

Summer Concepcion and Adam Reiss

The third day of Trump’s fraud trial has begun.

Donald Trump inside the courtroom for his civil fraud trial in New YorkDonald Trump inside the courtroom for his civil fraud trial in New York on Wednesday.Angela Weiss / AFP – Getty Images

Engoron enters and takes the bench. After the bailiff yells orders, Engoron says, “If this was Broadway, we would have a long run.”

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Copied2h ago / 2:06 PM UTC

Trump enters the courtroom

Adam Reiss

Trump has entered the courtroom with his son Eric Trump. He’s wearing the usual blue suit, white shirt and red tie. Lawyers Alina Habba and Chris Kise are standing near him chatting.

Officers in the hallway are yelling at reporters to quiet down. Eric Trump steps up to confer with attorneys before joining his father again.

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Copied2h ago / 2:05 PM UTC

Some issues to work out before trial starts

Adam Reiss

When we ended court yesterday, reporters were asked to leave the room while all parties remained. Several reporters were very upset and were shouting at the judge about transparency and the lack of it as we were asked to exit the room. We are expected to take care of some housekeeping issues this morning before resuming cross-examination of Trump’s longtime accountant Donald Bender. 

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Copied2h ago / 1:28 PM UTC

Trump and James arrive at the courthouse

Summer Concepcion

Trump and James arrived at the courthouse shortly before 9:30 a.m. ET.

Proceedings are expected to begin around 10 a.m. ET.

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Copied3h ago / 12:30 PM UTC

Trump gripes trial is ‘unfair’ after judge’s gag order

Summer Concepcion

Hours after the trial wrapped up yesterday, Trump aired his grievances in a post on his Truth Social platform, saying the trial is “unfair” and again suggesting it was an attempt to interfere with his presidential campaign.

“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” he said. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about!”

Trump also complained about the lack of a jury in the trial after his legal team disputed James’ claim that it never requested one. James’ office told NBC News that Trump’s lawyers never asked for a jury trial, but they likely they wouldn’t have received one even if they did.

Trump’s post came hours after Engoron issued a gag order barring defendants from discussing members of his staff after the former president attacked one of his law clerks on social media, a post that Engoron ordered him to delete.

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Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

Trump says he will testify in $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against him

Oct. 3, 202301:44

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Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

Two Trump accountants expected to testify today

Dareh Gregorian

Donald Bender, who was Trump’s longtime accountant, is expected to be back on the witness stand today as the former president’s attorneys continue their cross-examination of the attorney general’s first witness in the case.

Lawyers for the AG said in court yesterday that they might seek some additional questioning of Bender when Trump’s team is done with its cross-examination.

After Bender finishes his testimony, the AG’s office is expected to call Camron Harris, who works for Whitley Penn, the accounting firm that succeeded Bender’s firm as Trump’s accountants.

If Harris’ testimony wraps up on the same day it starts, he would be followed by Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president at the Trump Organization, who’s also a named defendant in the $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his adult sons and his company.

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Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

He’ll be back: Trump said he will attend today’s trial

Dareh Gregorian

Trump is expected to attend Day 3 of the civil fraud trial, after initially indicating he’d only be there in person for the first two days.

“It’s been a very good day,” he said while leaving court yesterday. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

The former president’s aides initially said he would leave court during the lunch break on Day 2, and then head back to Florida the following day. Instead, Trump wound up staying the entire day before announcing he’d return for today’s proceedings, presumably because he wants to watch his lawyers continue their cross-examination of his longtime former accountant Donald Bender.

Trump appeared agitated at times watching Bender’s direct testimony on the first day of the trial.

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Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

What happened on Day 2

Dareh Gregorian

Trump attended the first two days of the trial, and wound up getting hit with a gag order yesterday after posting a picture of Engoron’s law clerk with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on social media and insinuating they had a personal relationship.

“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I won’t tolerate it,” Engoron said, issuing a gag order “on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff.” He warned that any violations would be met with swift sanctions.

On the witness stand yesterday was Trump’s longtime accountant Donald Bender, who told lawyers from the New York Attorney General’s Office that he compiled Trump’s financial statements using information from Trump and his company, and that he later found they’d failed to hand over some important documents.

Under cross-examination from Trump’s lawyer, Bender acknowledged that he had accounting expertise that Trump’s financial team did not, and that he was responsible for making sure everything was submitted correctly.

  • Share this –

Copied NEWUPDATESNBC News14m ago / 3:26 PM UTC

New York civil fraud trial could seriously hamper Trump businesses

Oct. 2, 202304:19

  • Share this –

Copied42m ago / 2:57 PM UTC

Trump lawyer grills Bender about accounting work

Lisa Rubin

Suarez is now cross-examining Bender about some accounting principles. This is a level of deep accounting weediness that Trump is nonetheless sitting through.

Trump’s lawyers are trying to show — despite the Trump Organization’s written assertion that it, not Mazars, was responsible for the preparation of the statements in compliance with standardized accounting practices — that Bender should have known and should have guided Trump better.

They are also trying to establish, as Bender just agreed, that even under this particular standard, there is no one accepted way to estimate the current value of an asset to show that what Trump and his co-defendants did was not fraudulent, much less intentionally so.

  • Share this –

Copied49m ago / 2:50 PM UTC

Trump lawyer spars with his ex-accountant on the stand

Lisa Rubin, Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian

Trump attorney Jesus Suarez is mixing it up with Bender on the witness stand.

After Bender testified that a correction on the size of Trump’s triplex apartment was the work of the Trump Organization and not him, Suarez suggested that Bender was lying when he said a now-deceased accountant was his “relationship partner” at Mazars for all Trump work.

A relationship partner, in law and accounting firm parlance, is the person who might have originated the business relationship and might handle the bills, but is not necessarily the lead partner handling the work.

Suarez took Bender through a series of “engagement continuance forms” internal to his former accounting firm Mazars that listed Bender as the partner in charge. The judge seemed unimpressed, however, and suggested they move on.

Trump appears engaged with his soft-spoken former accountant’s testimony and complained at one point he couldn’t hear what Bender was saying. Bender then started speaking more clearly and closer to the microphone, often answering “I don’t recall” to Suarez’s questions.

  • Share this –

Copied1h ago / 2:24 PM UTC

Adam Reiss

Ex-Trump accountant Donald Bender is back on the stand.

  • Share this –

Copied1h ago / 2:16 PM UTC

Trump again slams trial as a ‘witch hunt’ before heading into courtroom

Summer Concepcion

Speaking outside the courtroom before the trial started, Trump again decried it as a political hit job against him as he repeated his ongoing attacks against James, whom he accused of trying to interfere with his chances of another presidential term.

“This trial is a disgrace,” he said. “Never happened — nothing like this has never happened before.”

Trump continued denying wrongdoing in the case and repeated his complaints about the lack of a jury in the trial.

“This is a witch hunt,” he said. “This is just a continuation of the witch hunt that started the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower. And it’s a shame for our country.”

  • Share this –

Copied1h ago / 2:13 PM UTC

Day 3 of the trial has started

Summer Concepcion and Adam Reiss

The third day of Trump’s fraud trial has begun.

Donald Trump inside the courtroom for his civil fraud trial in New YorkDonald Trump inside the courtroom for his civil fraud trial in New York on Wednesday.Angela Weiss / AFP – Getty Images

Engoron enters and takes the bench. After the bailiff yells orders, Engoron says, “If this was Broadway, we would have a long run.”

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 2:06 PM UTC

Trump enters the courtroom

Adam Reiss

Trump has entered the courtroom with his son Eric Trump. He’s wearing the usual blue suit, white shirt and red tie. Lawyers Alina Habba and Chris Kise are standing near him chatting.

Officers in the hallway are yelling at reporters to quiet down. Eric Trump steps up to confer with attorneys before joining his father again.

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 2:05 PM UTC

Some issues to work out before trial starts

Adam Reiss

When we ended court yesterday, reporters were asked to leave the room while all parties remained. Several reporters were very upset and were shouting at the judge about transparency and the lack of it as we were asked to exit the room. We are expected to take care of some housekeeping issues this morning before resuming cross-examination of Trump’s longtime accountant Donald Bender. 

  • Share this –

Copied2h ago / 1:28 PM UTC

Trump and James arrive at the courthouse

Summer Concepcion

Trump and James arrived at the courthouse shortly before 9:30 a.m. ET.

Proceedings are expected to begin around 10 a.m. ET.

  • Share this –

Copied3h ago / 12:30 PM UTC

Trump gripes trial is ‘unfair’ after judge’s gag order

Summer Concepcion

Hours after the trial wrapped up yesterday, Trump aired his grievances in a post on his Truth Social platform, saying the trial is “unfair” and again suggesting it was an attempt to interfere with his presidential campaign.

“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” he said. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about!”

Trump also complained about the lack of a jury in the trial after his legal team disputed James’ claim that it never requested one. James’ office told NBC News that Trump’s lawyers never asked for a jury trial, but they likely they wouldn’t have received one even if they did.

Trump’s post came hours after Engoron issued a gag order barring defendants from discussing members of his staff after the former president attacked one of his law clerks on social media, a post that Engoron ordered him to delete.

  • Share this –

Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

Trump says he will testify in $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against him

Oct. 3, 202301:44

  • Share this –

Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

Two Trump accountants expected to testify today

Dareh Gregorian

Donald Bender, who was Trump’s longtime accountant, is expected to be back on the witness stand today as the former president’s attorneys continue their cross-examination of the attorney general’s first witness in the case.

Lawyers for the AG said in court yesterday that they might seek some additional questioning of Bender when Trump’s team is done with its cross-examination.

After Bender finishes his testimony, the AG’s office is expected to call Camron Harris, who works for Whitley Penn, the accounting firm that succeeded Bender’s firm as Trump’s accountants.

If Harris’ testimony wraps up on the same day it starts, he would be followed by Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president at the Trump Organization, who’s also a named defendant in the $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his adult sons and his company.

  • Share this –

Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

He’ll be back: Trump said he will attend today’s trial

Dareh Gregorian

Trump is expected to attend Day 3 of the civil fraud trial, after initially indicating he’d only be there in person for the first two days.

“It’s been a very good day,” he said while leaving court yesterday. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

The former president’s aides initially said he would leave court during the lunch break on Day 2, and then head back to Florida the following day. Instead, Trump wound up staying the entire day before announcing he’d return for today’s proceedings, presumably because he wants to watch his lawyers continue their cross-examination of his longtime former accountant Donald Bender.

Trump appeared agitated at times watching Bender’s direct testimony on the first day of the trial.

  • Share this –

Copied4h ago / 12:02 PM UTC

What happened on Day 2

Dareh Gregorian

Trump attended the first two days of the trial, and wound up getting hit with a gag order yesterday after posting a picture of Engoron’s law clerk with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on social media and insinuating they had a personal relationship.

“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I won’t tolerate it,” Engoron said, issuing a gag order “on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff.” He warned that any violations would be met with swift sanctions.

On the witness stand yesterday was Trump’s longtime accountant Donald Bender, who told lawyers from the New York Attorney General’s Office that he compiled Trump’s financial statements using information from Trump and his company, and that he later found they’d failed to hand over some important documents.

Under cross-examination from Trump’s lawyer, Bender acknowledged that he had accounting expertise that Trump’s financial team did not, and that he was responsible for making sure everything was submitted correctly.

  • Share this –

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