Family businesses tend to keep tight control of the enterprise and have members of the family occupy key positions and make all the major decisions.
But not the Trump family business. If you take the testimony of the patriarch, his two sons, and daughter at the fraud trial in New York City at face value, it seemed like none of them knew what was actually going on even though they occupied key positions. They claimed ignorance of major decisions, or said “I don’t recall” to key events, implying that all they did was sign documents that underlings put before them without really knowing what was in them, let alone doing the minimum due diligence to make sure that what they were attesting to was correct. Legal experts explain the “I don’t recall” strategy.
This is of course their strategy, to imply that they could not have committed fraud if they did not have the intent to commit fraud, and that they were misled by others. It is similar to the defense strategy that Sam Bankman-Fried put forward in the FTX cryptocurrency fraud trial and which the jury overwhelmingly rejected.
The defense will begin putting forward its case today. Let’s see how far they are going with that strategy. This case is not before a jury but a judge who had already ruled against the company, that they had falsified the valuations of its various components. How long the defense lasts will depend on the number of witnesses they put on the stand. Given their strategy of delaying things as much as possible, expect to see them ask to put forward many witnesses, however little they may actually contribute to the facts of the case.