NY Appeals Court lowers Trump bond to $175M in civil fraud case

NY Appeals Court lowers Trump bond to $175M in civil fraud case

On Monday, a New York appeals court panel permitted former president Donald Trump to post a $175 million bail to delay execution of a nearly half-billion-dollar legal judgment against him and his corporation.

Trump won a major victory despite a cash shortage and the possibility of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) seizing his assets this week.

The five state justices on the panel reduced Trump's financial burden, but not completely. They ordered Trump 10 days to come up with the $175 million bail, stating they would only defer enforcement of the whole sum if he did. It is unclear how he will raise the money.

“We’ll put up the cash or a bond very quickly,” Trump told reporters Monday, without details. Trump's attorneys wanted a $100 million bail, not the entire amount.

Trump is under financial and legal pressure, so the panel's ruling comes at a fragile time. The appeals panel's ruling came while he was in New York court to prolong his criminal prosecution for hush money payments to an adult film actress. The judge denied that and scheduled the trial for April 15.

After a brief delay to investigate Trump's accusation of prosecutor misconduct, the court resumed the first criminal trial of a former president. Trump was charged with 34 counts of manipulating company documents to disguise payments to Stormy Daniels.

Additionally, two civil juries ordered Trump to pay roughly $90 million to writer E. Jean Carroll. He is charged in four criminal counts, including the New York hush money case.

James sued Trump, his firm, his two eldest sons, and two former executives, resulting in the civil fraud judgment. According to James's claim, Trump misrepresented his properties and other assets by up to $2.2 billion year from 2011 to 2021.

In February, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron criticized Trump and the other defendants for their “lack of contrition and remorse.” He ordered Trump to pay up over $450 million in judgment and interest.

The former president instantly pledged to appeal, but he had to post a full bail to prevent James from collecting.

Trump's attorneys argued he couldn't fund a $450 million appeal bail. They said his staff approached 30 firms, but none would accept Trump's most valuable asset, real estate. He had to deposit cash or investments instead. Trump attorneys called it a “practical impossibility” to get such a huge bond in cash.

On Monday, the appeals court panel reduced Trump's bail sum but not the first decision. Next Thursday, April 4, is his bail deadline. Golf courses and hotels take weeks or months to sell, so Trump may need more than 10 days to sell his real estate.

After reporters asked how he would pay the $175 million bond on Monday, Trump said, “I have a lot of cash” and would “like to be able to use some of my cash to get elected.”

Trump's cash and securities are hard to estimate. In a fraud deposition last April, he claimed “400-plus” million dollars. According to a Washington Post examination of his August financial declaration filed with the Office of Government Ethics, he identified hundreds of bank and investment accounts worth $252 million to $924 million.

His finances have changed significantly since then. He posted a $91 million bail last month to delay enforcement of a defamation judgment he lost to Carroll, depleting his riches. On paper, shareholders gave him a windfall last week when they agreed to take Truth Social's parent company public. Trump's 60% stake in the firm was worth almost $3 billion at Monday afternoon's stock price, which had climbed more than 35%. He must get a waiver from the company's board to sell or borrow against his ownership position for six months.

Trump stated, “I don’t do that.” on Monday when asked about foreign aid. He said, “I think you’d be allowed to possibly, I don’t know.The main banks are foreign. You could. But I don't need loans."

A January House Democrats study said foreign governments spent millions at Trump properties while he was president. Trump's firm stated it gave earnings to the Treasury at market rates.

Trump has always used his legal woes to rally fans, claiming political persecution. Republicans supported him more following his indictment last year, according to polling. Even though Monday's appeals court judgment ordered him to pay $175 million to protect state officials from confiscating his assets, he claimed on social media that it “shattered” Engoron and James' credibility.

James's office opposed Trump's attempts to postpone the ruling or post less. On Monday, James's office said the panel's order did not modify Engoron's determination that Trump erred.

“Donald Trump is still facing accountability for his staggering fraud,” her office representative stated. The court found him guilty of years of deception to inflate his financial worth and benefit himself, his family, and his organization. The $464 million judgment against Trump and the others—plus interest—stands.

The appeals court provided no explanation for its decision, but Adam Pollock, a former New York associate attorney general, suggested it may permanently reduce Trump's sentence on appeal.

“It’s extraordinary because the law is clear that you have to post a bond in the full amount, and it suggests that the underlying judgment may be excessive,” Pollock said.

Legal experts said the appellate court indicated it intends to keep the case rolling on its timeline. Trump must appeal by September's court term. Pollock says his appeal must be ready by July 8. “Here what they’re saying is, ‘You’re not going to get to drag this out,’” Pollock added.

The panel lowered Trump's appeal bail and stayed earlier Engoron decisions.

The panel said it would block Engoron's order barring Trump and his firm from New York bank loans for three years. The tribunal also rejected Engoron's orders preventing Trump from leading a New York firm for three years or his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, for two. Last month, an appeals court judge granted temporary stays on such measures, but the entire panel's decision was unknown.

The panel upheld Engoron's other actions, including his order to appoint a Trump Organization independent compliance director.

Read the original article here.

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