Trump Scores Big Win After Court Orders $454 Million Fine

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

A New York appeals court said on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump can take temporary control of his family business and can ask for loans from New York banks to help pay down the $454 million fine imposed on him in Attorney General Letitia James’ civil fraud lawsuit. Trump gained some ground in the decision, but the court also decided that he will still have to pay the hefty fine.

The former president was granted a partial and temporary reprieve from all of the penalties and sanctions that had been imposed against him by a court at the First Department of the New York Appellate Division. The decision by a New York court, which was rendered without a jury and has drawn harsh criticism from real estate developers, stated that Trump had falsely overvalued his properties. Despite the fact that Trump repaid the loans used to construct his properties, along with interest, Judge Arthur Engoron finally found against him in the lawsuit filed by an attorney general who ran on a platform of “getting Trump.”

Trump’s children also received a three-year ban from running a business in the state of New York as part of their sentence. In addition, he was mandated to pay over $450 million in fines as part of the historic decision.

Despite his partial win on Wednesday, the appeals court decided that Trump will still be responsible for the hefty fine.

To stop the implementation of a judgment until an appeal, defendants in civil proceedings are typically obliged to post the whole amount of the penalty they have been ordered to pay in cash or in the form of a bond guaranteed by a third party. Nonetheless, Trump’s legal team contended that it is now difficult to obtain a loan due to the terms of the judgment.

According to Trump’s attorneys, it would be impossible to obtain and post a full bond because of the “exorbitant and punitive amount of the judgment coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions.” James’ office retaliated on Wednesday by claiming that Trump’s claims “have no merit” in their own document.

Senior Assistant Solicitor General Dennis Fan stated in a letter that “Defendants all but concede that Mr. Trump has insufficient liquid assets to satisfy the judgment.” These are precisely the circumstances for which a full bond or deposit is necessary.”

Before a final ruling is made, attorneys for AG James’ office and Trump are anticipated to make more arguments before the appeals court in the upcoming weeks. If the former president cannot pay the fee, James has threatened to take possession of his possessions.

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