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Donald Trump and his adult children are listed as potential witnesses in NY fraud case

By Kara Scannell, CNN

New York (CNN) — Donald Trump, his adult children, and his closest business advisers could be called to testify during the civil fraud trial expected to begin next week in New York.

The former president is listed on the witness lists submitted by the New York attorney general and Trump’s legal team.

Placing someone on a potential witness list does not mean that person will be called to testify. Attorneys for both sides need to be inclusive on their witness lists of any potential person they might want to call, or the judge could exclude the testimony.

Trump previously sat for a deposition in the case and said he had little “if any” role in preparing the financial statements that a New York judge ruled earlier this week were fraudulent.

Also on both lists are Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who are both defendants in the case, and numerous current and former Trump Organization employees, including former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Most of the witnesses have also testified in videotaped depositions.

In civil cases, defendants can be called to testify and if they refuse, the jury, or in this case Judge Arthur Engoron, can use that against them in weighing the evidence.

The New York attorney general’s office identified 28 witnesses they could call in the case, including Michael Cohen and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka Trump was initially a defendant in the case, but a New York appeals court struck her from the lawsuit saying the claims brought against her were too old.

Trump’s attorneys identified 127 possible witnesses that they would call, including some of the lenders behind the loans at issue in the lawsuit.

The case is scheduled to start Monday. Engoron will decide how much money the Trumps would pay the state after finding the former president and his business engaged in a persistent fraud by using inflated financial statements for nearly a decade.

The state is also seeking to prove the Trumps engaged in insurance fraud and falsified business records. Engoron has set aside nearly three months for the trial.

An appeals court ruling is expected as soon as Thursday that could potentially impact the trial start date.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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