What is the subject of this case?
At approximately 10 AM US time, which is 4 PM EST, a new trial against Donald Trump began in New York. The former president and his family company are suspected of misleading banks and insurance companies for years by overstating the value of his assets by billions. This allowed him to avoid millions in taxes, loans and insurance.
Fraud, that is. Last week, Judge Arthur Engoron deemed the conviction of Trump and two of his sons sufficiently proven. They will now have to pay fines for that creative numerical work, and this process essentially revolves around how much those fines are.
What consequences await Trump?
Unlike other ongoing lawsuits against Trump (including hush money, secret government documents and the storming of the Capitol), Trump doesn’t have to fear prison this time. This is not a criminal case, but a civil lawsuit.
However, the judge could hit Trump hard financially. New York Attorney General Letitia James is demanding a fine of $250 million (about 236 million euros). It also wants to impose a ban on Donald Trump and his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric to do business in New York State, in addition to a five-year ban on commercial real estate transactions by Trump or his organization.
What will happen next for Trump’s business empire?
Judge Engoron has already ordered the cancellation of permits needed to operate ten of Trump’s most important businesses. This also includes Trump Tower and its golf clubs in New York. Engoron says it will appoint independent trustees to oversee the “dissolution” of Trump’s business empire.
What that means in practice is not entirely clear. Trump’s empire is a tangle of more than five hundred companies and holding companies. This process will help determine the form in which this can continue to exist. However, this only applies to companies located in New York State, not all branches outside it.
How does Trump himself respond?
Trump rejected the case again, describing it as a witch hunt, but today he defended himself personally. He announced this last night on his social network Truth Social. “I will go to court tomorrow to fight for my name and reputation.” He describes the accusations as “ridiculous and untrue” and calls Engoron a “deranged” judge.
“It is a continuation of the largest witch hunt ever,” the former president said this afternoon as he arrived in court. With all the cameras focused on him, the former president criticized those prosecuting him, calling it a “pure scam.” “There was no crime. The crime is against me because we have a corrupt prosecutor, but we also have a corrupt prosecutor, and it’s all coming from the Department of Justice who coordinated this whole thing in Washington because I’m the leading candidate.”
Trump’s lawyers dispute the attorney general’s numbers. According to them, it is based on “flawed accounting methods” that do not take into account “Trump’s genius as an investor.”
The process begins today, but the results still have to wait some time. Currently, the completion date is only planned for early December. By then, more than 150 witnesses will be heard in court, including Donald Trump. Although tax experts in particular will highlight the accuracy of financial documents.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”