An additional executive provided testimony indicating that the bank had gained from its business association with Trump and intended to maintain that association; this contradicts the civil fraud case brought against Trump by Attorney General Letitia James: No one was affected by purported overestimations of his value.
Trump is the defendant in the first case ever filed in New York against a borrower for fraud, despite the absence of any actual damage allegations. In addition to demanding a $250 million punishment, the state also desires that Trump relinquish control of his businesses.
An elected Democrat, Judge Arthur Engoron, rendered a summary judgment finding Trump liable prior to his ability to present a defense. The current stage of the trial merely concerns the sanction. However, it undermines the state’s fundamental accusations.
David Williams, who worked on at least one of three loans made to Trump by Deutsche Bank in the years preceding his election as president, testified on Tuesday that the bank’s decision to approve a loan despite a 50% reduction in the stated asset value is “atypical, but not entirely unusual.”
Internal bank credit memos used as evidence in the case allege that Deutsche Bank, which lent Trump hundreds of millions of dollars for properties in Miami, Chicago, and Washington, reduced his stated net worth from approximately $4.2 billion to $2.3 billion in 2011 and 2012 while evaluating his loan requests. The bank approved the loans despite this, according to the same documents, because it anticipated a profit from them, citing Trump’s track record of effective developments and other relevant factors.
“As part of our due diligence, we make adjustments to the value of a client’s assets,” Williams explained. “We apply this as part of our underwriting procedure to all clients, irrespective of the information provided.”
Legal scholar Jonathan Turley of the University of George Washington noted:
Banks made a profit on these loans, which were repaid either early or on schedule, according to the evidence. Indeed, the Trump organization’s estimations, which were accompanied by a cautionary note cautioning against reliance on said estimates, failed to elicit any complaints from the institutions.
Furthermore, James is attempting to bring down a once-iconic New York corporation not only by denying the Trumps business certificates but also by imposing $250 million in penalties for money that was never lost.
However, Justice Engoron appeared displeased by the testimony; when Trump’s attorney questioned the bank’s haste to secure future loans, Engoron replied, “They’re attempting to make money. “Why would they not be interested, then?”
As with federal criminal cases in Florida and Washington, DC, and state criminal cases in New York and Georgia, Trump has asserted that the civil case against him is merely a political maneuvering.
James was elected with the explicit pledge to prosecute Trump through the judicial system.