In a dramatic turn of events at Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, his former corporate controller, Jeffrey McConney, tearfully testified about his decision to leave his longtime job due to the company’s legal troubles. On the witness stand for the fourth time in six weeks, McConney opened up about the toll it took on him.
As defense attorney Jesus M. Suarez questioned McConney about why he no longer worked at the Trump Organization, the atmosphere in the courtroom became tense. McConney paused, visibly emotional, and then shared his thoughts on his over 35 years of service at the company.
With tears streaming down his face, McConney explained that he had reached a breaking point, exhausted from being constantly accused of misrepresenting assets for the company to which he had dedicated his career. “I just wanted to relax and stop being accused,” he testified, his voice trembling.
The trial, brought forth by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that Trump and his company’s executives fraudulently inflated his wealth on financial statements to secure loans and insurance. Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, has dismissed the case as a political attack by James, a Democrat.
Trump argues that the financial documents underestimated his net worth and insists that the statements contained disclaimers advising recipients to verify the numbers independently. McConney’s retirement as controller came with $500,000 in severance payments after he was granted immunity to testify against the Trump Organization in a separate criminal tax fraud trial.
At the ongoing civil trial, McConney has been called to the stand by the attorney general’s office and defense lawyers. His testimony has shed light on the valuations of various assets, revealing that specific figures were increased due to factors such as Trump’s celebrity status. However, McConney also emphasized that valuations were subjective and that there was no “right way” to determine them.
Throughout his testimony, McConney maintained that he never intended to deceive or mislead anyone. He argued that the outside accountants who prepared the financial statements were aware of the bases for the evaluations. “Numbers don’t represent fully what these assets are worth,” he asserted, adding that he and others at the company felt confident in their valuations.
With frustration, McConney concluded his testimony by expressing his exasperation at being constantly berated over the valuations. “To be hit over the head every time with a negative comment over something is just frustrating, and I gave up,” he said, his hands thrown up in resignation.
As the trial continues, McConney’s emotional testimony serves as a poignant reminder of the impact of these legal proceedings on the individuals involved. It remains to be seen how this trial will unfold and what its implications will be for Donald Trump and his former company.