12:35 pm ET, January 11, 2024
The judge and Trump's attorney sparred over the significance of the $2 billion difference
From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Lauren Del Valle and Cara Scannell
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Judge Arthur Engron interrupted Trump attorney Chris Kiss at several points during Thursday's closing arguments.
Kiss repeated that the New York attorney general's team did not dispute the testimony of several key Trump defense witnesses, including two security experts who said Mar-a-Lago was undervalued and could be used as a private residence.
Engoron stopped short of admitting Kiss, while admitting that the testimony was not rebutted, saying, “I don't believe I should have accepted the testimony even if it was not rebutted and it was found to be credible.”
The judge again interrupted Trump's attorney to push back on whether the $2 billion was “material” or significant in the case.
Kiss argued — as he did at trial — that Deutsche Bank loaned Trump millions of dollars after independently verifying Trump's self-reported net worth. The bank pegged his net worth at $2 billion at one point, but it didn't find substance. It's not material to the bank, so it shouldn't be material in this case, Kiss argued.
“This is not logically sound,” the judge said.
The standard of materiality is whether it is material to the average person, Nkoron said.
“Let me ask you this, is meaning an objective standard or a subjective standard?” Engron asked Kiss.
Kiss said that was subjective and pointed to testimony from New York University accounting professor Eli Barto, who said there were no misstatements in Trump's financial statements.
“I don't give much credence to Mr. Pardo,” Engoron replied.
“You know, I don't think that's fair,” Kiss said. “They don't care about the $2 billion difference,” Kise said of Deutsche Bank, adding that the bank made loans to Trump based on their own adjusted values.
“We have to look at this through the lens of the bank,” Kiss said.
“A bank's. Not a bank. We disagree,” Ngoron replied.
The debate continued over Kise's argument against Trump being held liable for the “perverse gains” from the divestment or his Deutsche Bank loan rates.
“Do you believe that defects should cause harm to third parties?” Enkoron asked.
“There must be an infringement of their legal rights,” Kiss said. “In this case the president here needs to get something that he didn't get from Deutsche Bank.”