Donald Trump passed out copies of a Forbes list of top-paid entertainers when huddling with Buffalo Bills execs to bolster his bid to buy the team — while refusing to reveal his financials, it surfaced in court Tuesday.The red-flag revelation came during the 77-year-old’s former president’s Manhattan fraud trial over accusations he wildly inflated his worth to get better deals on such things as loans and insurance — to net himself a cool $250 million.Trump was one of the final bidders for the upstate New York football team out of 86 bidders in 2014, according to a report by ABC News. Trump, who claimed he had $8 billion at the time, ultimately lost out to billionaire Terry Pegula, who topped the former president’s $1 billion bid by $400 million.As part of the bidding process, when bankers asked for proof of Trump’s worth to ensure he was solvent enough to the team afloat, the former president’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen sent a 2014 email to them saying, “We feel it is premature to sign the consent release forms until such time as we know that Mr. Trump is the final bidder.”But during a meeting with the team’s executives, the real-estate tycoon had no trouble busting out the print-outs of the Forbes list — which presumably featured Trump.“He gave us handouts of the Forbes list of the top-paid entertainers,” Don Cornwell of Morgan Stanley testified.During opening statements at the trial five weeks ago, lawyers with state Attorney General Letitia James argued that Trump inflated his assets on annual business statements — in part for vanity’s sake as he sought to climb Forbes’ list of billionaires.Cornwell admitted during cross-examination by Trump’s lawyers that one of the reasons Trump lost his shot to buy the team was because he’d had a prior lawsuit against the NFL and because of his casino ties.“You thought that President Trump had little chance of being approved by the NFL?” Trump lawyer Ivan Feris said.“Yes,” Cornwell answered.Trump’s lawyers have claimed that Trump’s failed attempt to buy the Bills was unrelated to the AG’s allegations against their client and therefore shouldn’t be considered at trial.“It is the defense position that none of this relates to a cause of action in this case,” Feris said.Kise argued that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office — which is prosecuting the case — hasn’t proved that the banks Trump worked with would have denied his loan applications even if they’d known he’d inflated his assets on annual business statements. Kise highlighted testimony from Deutsche Bank executive Nicholas Haigh saying that loaning money to the real-estate tycoon was a “good credit decision.“But Justice Arthur Engoron fired back, “Several witnesses have testified that they would have acted differently had they known the statements of financial condition were fraudulent.“I think, to a certain extent, the defendants are whistling past the graveyard here,” the judge said.AG James’ team claims that from at least 2011 through 2021, Trump pumped up the value of his net worth by billions of dollars a year to get better loan and insurance terms and to climb the Forbes’ list of billionaires.Trump has vehemently denied the accusations, saying he’s a victim of a political witch hunt being carried out by the AG and the judge.Protesters showed up outside the 60 Centre St. courthouse Tuesday — Halloween — with signs saying “Trick or Treason” and “Trump is a Horror Show.”In September, Engoron issued a bombshell ruling finding that Trump had carried out “fraudulent valuations” of his assets and finding him liable of one of the main fraud claims by the AG. In one example, the judge highlighted that Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golfing estate had been valued at between $426 million to $612 million on financial documents, while a Palm Beach assessor had pegged the value of the golf club at between $18 million and $27 million — a discrepancy of 2,300%.As part of the decision, Engoron said Trump’s business licenses in New York should be revoked. But this part of the ruling has been temporarily put on hold by an appeals court. The AG’s office has agreed for the pause to continue until the trial wraps.Trump, his two eldest sons and the family real-estate empire are all defendants on the case, and the three Trumps are slated to testify in the coming days. Trump’s daughter Ivanka also is set to testify. Trump has attended a handful of days throughout trial, including to face down his former “fixer” and former personal lawyer Cohen, who testified against him. Trump was not in court Tuesday.The former president was also briefly called to the stand by Engoron to determine if Trump had violated his limited gag order prohibiting him from speaking about the judge’s court staff. Engoron has twice issued in fines totaling $15,000 against Trump for violations of the gag order.Two Trump sons — Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump — are expected to take the stand this week while their dad is set to testify Monday.Ivanka is scheduled to take the witness stand Nov. 8. She had previously been a defendant on the case until an appeals court dismissed her because of the statute of limitations.
01 Kasım 2023 - 00:50
Trump used Forbes list to try to bolster bid to buy Buffalo Bills: ‘He gave us handouts’
Donald Trump passed out copies of a Forbes list of top-paid entertainers when huddling with Buffalo Bills honchos to bolster his bid to buy the team — while refusing to reveal his financials, it su…
01 Kasım 2023 - 00:50