Trump Trial


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Turley made a good observation. The NY Court of Appeals may not be much better than these lower courts with Dem appointed judges.


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Appeal This!

But that's not what caught my eye about Arthur F Wankeron's judgment. The truly striking passage was this (page 90, just before the sign-off):

The Court hereby enjoins Donald Trump and the Trump Organization and its affiliates from applying for loans from any financial institution chartered by or registered with the New York Department of Financial Services for a period of three years.


Not so. In order to appeal, a losing party has to post a bond for the amount at issue. That's true for federal and state courts, although there are variations hither and yon: some jurisdictions require you merely to post a bond for the original judgment, others to cover the likely interest that will pile up as your appeal works it way through the choked septic tank of American "justice"; California, for example, won't entertain an appeal until you bond 150 per cent of the amount of the judgment.

This is no small thing, even for those of us at the nickel-and-dime end of the Great American Judicial Shakedown - and especially not when, at the lower-court phase, justice has been comprehensively weaponised against one side of the country's political divide. But to be clear: to appeal Judge Wankeron's decision Trump needs to come up with a bond for at least $350 million.

So, just to complicate the issue, Wankeron forbids him from doing business with any financial institution registered in the State of New York. Which is rather a lot of them, it being the home of Wall Street - and of almost all the big players: J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley...

Oh, to be sure, the First National Bank of Dead Moose Junction in Aroostook County, Maine isn't registered in New York. But are they where you go when you need surety for 350 mil?


But this Judge Wankeron is taking it to a whole new level. It's not very difficult, after all, to ramp up the judgment to a number it would be impossible to get a bond for. But why take the chance? Hit Trump for a third-of-a-billion - and take the additional precaution of forbidding him from doing business with any entity in a position to guarantee anything like that amount. It's not just the punishment, but increasingly about closing off options to resist the punishment.

And, by the way, this Trump fellow is what other countries call the Leader of the Opposition: we're talking about the guy running against the ruling party in this year's election. The "banana republic" jibes don't capture the scale of what's going on here - for what ramshackle basket-case in Latin America has ever had the need to confiscate half-a-billion from its political opponent and pass it off as "justice"? We are way beyond bananas here.

The manifest perversion of justice represented by this New York decision is so brazen that the US Supreme Court really should step in and end it now. But they won't, will they? For the last three decades, the American "right" has abandoned every other societal lever in order to focus on getting one more rock-ribbed "originalist" onto the big bench - to the point where we have a six-three so-called "conservative majority". At which point, we're suddenly assured that Chief Justice John Roberts' priority is to avoid the court being dragged into "controversy".


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Kevin O’Leary slams Trump’s civil ruling as ‘un-American’ and a shock to the entire real estate industry

O’Leary, known for his role on “Shark Tank,” lambasted the decision, arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent for the entire real estate industry.

O’Leary had previously been critical of the months-long fraud case in the media, saying on CNN recently that, “I don’t think this thing will ever survive appeal regardless of what the fine is. This doesn’t even make sense.”

“That fact that he was found guilty, you might as well find guilty every real estate developer on Earth,” O’Leary said in an exclusive interview with The Post.

The judge’s decree bars Trump from assuming any officer or director positions in New York for three years, a move O’Leary sees as detrimental not just to Trump, but also to the broader business landscape.

“I don’t understand where someone got hurt … What developer doesn’t ask for the highest price valued for any building they built?” O’Leary said.

Predicting an overturn on appeal, O’Leary cautioned against the lasting repercussions this ruling might have on American business.

“It’s not healthy for the country,” he emphasized. “I want this reviewed and appealed and turned over because it’s wrong for everybody that participates.”

He later added, “If this judgment sticks. Every developer must be jailed. They must be found guilty. They must be put out of business. You can’t do this to one another. It’s not about Trump.”


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🔥 Thank you for your patience on getting to the Trump fine. On Friday, NBC ran an eye-popping story headlined, “Judge fines Donald Trump more than $350 million, bars him from running businesses in N.Y. for three years.

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I realize it’s difficult to keep up with the rogue’s gallery of politically-partisan judges and prosecutors pursuing President Trump, but by now you’ve probably heard plenty about the historic $354 million-dollar criminal penalty pinned on President Trump and his New York companies on Friday. The case started last year with an equally historic premise, using a statute that had never been used this way before against anyone, never mind against a President, and relying on a logic-defying factual allegation of financial fraud even though the banks that got Trump’s allegedly fraudulent financial statements said everything looked fine to them.

There are two major prongs in civil cases: liability and damages. You need to prove both to win a civil case. It is not quite the same way in criminal cases but it’s comparable, especially where, as here, the alleged crime (fraud) has a civil analogue. Proving criminal fraud everywhere but in New York requires proof of three things: an intent to deceive, a victim’s reliance on a deliberately-false representation, and an actual injury caused by the victim’s reliance on the deceptive representation.

New York’s novel criminal statute (never used this way before) strips two of the three elements, dehydrating the age-old ‘crime’ down to a new-age essence: the mere intent to deceive. Judge Engoran — a partisan democrat from way back — had no trouble finding that Trump intended to deceive the banks. It doesn’t matter whether the bankers said they were deceived or not, that’s reliance, an antique element jettisoned from New York law after State Attorney Letitia James woke up one morning with her brain hurting on the left side.

In other words, they’ve reduced the crime to the democrats’ absolute favorite: a thought crime. The only wrinkle under the statute is that the intent to deceive must be financially-related and written down. The fact the crime is only based on Trump’s intent is democrat partisans are proud of. For example:

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Next up is the damages, or the lack thereof. Under our Constitutional system of criminal justice, punishments must be proportional. That’s basic Eighth Amendment law going back to the very beginning. There can be no cruel or unusual punishment. Which includes excessive fines. That is undisputed.

Here’s what the New York Times reported about the damages back in November:

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So how did Judge Engoran calculate that his $354 million fine was proportional? Proportional to what?

The judge buried that calculation in a mind-numbing array of complicated hypotheticals, such as imagining that — despite what the bankers said — Trump might have paid a higher interest rate on the loans if his financials had looked different. That got the judge part of the way, and then he imposed a massive $250-million clawback of what he decided were “unjust profits.”

All the judge’s complicated calculations elided the requirement of proportionality to the damage actually caused.

So what comes next? An appeal. Unlike the $83 million civil verdict against President Trump in the bizarre sex assault case, there is no remittitur available for a criminal fine. So Trump will proceed directly to appeal — an appeal demonically calibrated to inflict the most possible pain, since under New York law, in order to appeal Trump must first post a bond in the full amount of the fine plus interest — over $450 million dollars.

President Trump can either put up the cash or buy a bond. Appeal bond fees cost around ten percent of the total, or $45 million dollars, which Trump would never get back. If he ultimately loses, the bonder would pay the fine but keep $450 million in Trump’s collateral, which the President was required to pledge to secure the bond. If Trump wins, he pays nothing further, but the bonder still keeps the bond fee.

Trump’s appeal now must work its way through New York’s liberal court system. Ironically, the state names its courts backwards — the trial court is called the “supreme court” — but the basic idea is the same as everywhere else. Trump must appeal first to the appellate division, and from there to New York’s supreme court, and from there to the U.S. Supreme Court — but he can only appeal to the USSC on Constitutional issues, of which there are several.

Everyone wants a prediction, but the case is a unicorn, which makes it utterly unpredictable. The one predictable part has already occurred, which is that the hyper-partisan judge and prosecutor reached this result. It was inevitable, everyone knew it, the threat of this judgment was meant to dissuade Trump from running for President. Now the unpredictable appellate part begins.

It is literally unthinkable that any court of appeals would uphold this decision. The criminal statute that the judgment was based on is Constitutionally infirm because it is vague; businesspeople in New York can’t accurately predict what conduct is prohibited. The judgment itself is Constitutionally infirm because it is wildly disproportionate to any legitimate harm caused to victims, despite Judge Engoran’s best efforts to find the victims’ testimony not credible and to calculate injuries they denied having.

Trump has excellent arguments for each of the legal aspects of the case. It’s almost an understatement to say the facts favor Trump, not least that the banks testified they weren’t harmed. The case itself was always tailor-made for an appellate court, with its high profile nature, political implications, celebrity defendant, and media interest.

As a lawyer advising clients, my rule of thumb in normal cases only handicaps using three percentiles: 25%, 50%-50%, and 75%. So I might say this case is a dog, you’ve got a 25% chance to win. Or, this is a great case, we’re looking at a 75% probability of winning. Seventy-five percent is as high as I go in a normal case, because even good judges and juries make mistakes, never mind bad ones.

Celebrity cases like this one break the rules. There’s nothing to compare them to. But the good news is that Trump’s lawyers have everything they need to win. It might’ve been the other way, with Trump facing difficult law and hard facts. But he’s in the best possible position to win, which should be encouraging.

Lately I often hear people complain about the use of donor money to pay Trump’s litigation expenses. That seems wrong-headed to me. Trump is only facing the litigation because he’s running for President. Donald J. Trump is the one taking all the risk — risk of bankruptcy and prison. If people don’t donate, he’s a dead Donald. So his litigation costs are campaign expenses. It’s that simple.

It might be time for a Trump multiplier. What do you think?



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I think the big question still is who is awarded the $354M+interest sum. There is no victim. The lenders are saying... Nope, we're not victims. In fact we have more money to lend Trump.


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I think the big question still is who is awarded the $354M+interest sum. There is no victim. The lenders are saying... Nope, we're not victims. In fact we have more money to lend Trump.
Democrats will want to scarf it up.


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President Trump's Kafkaesque Civil Trial in New York State

Donald Trump has been ordered to pay a $355 million fine and has been barred from doing business in New York State for three years. Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay essentially all of his cash reserves of $400 million, which fine if upheld would force Trump to sell some of his real estate holdings to raise cash to live on. Once interest is added on the total fine will rise to $450 million. This is all on top of an $83.3 million fine Trump must pay for allegedly defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll. The fines in total could deprive Trump of between 11% and 13% of his wealth. Trump's adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric have also been fined, and they are barred from doing business in New York State for two years. Ivanka or Melania Trump could legally run the Trump businesses for the next two years, but Judge Engoron appointed retired U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones to continue in her role as an "independent monitor" of the Trump business empire but expanded her authority to review financial disclosures before they are submitted to third parties. Judge Jones can hire an independent director of compliance, and she has the authority to compel Trump to sell some or even all of his businesses down the road. This is all punishment for Trump allegedly committing fraud by falsely in inflating and deflating the value of his real estate assets to pay lower state taxes and to receive more favorable loans from banks.

The New York State laws used to go after Trump have NEVER been used in this way, historically, and while Trump may owe some back state taxes, if Judge Engoron is right, not a single bank claimed that it had been defrauded by Trump in the loans it had made to him. This is truly a victimless crime.

Bankers took the stand at Trump's civil trial testifying that they would have gladly made loans to Donald Trump given his extraordinary success as a businessman. It must also be noted that the banks that made loans to Trump did not take his assessment of the net worth of his assets at face value but made their own independent assessments of the value of Trump's assets. This is apparently standard practice in the New York State real estate market where borrowers often overstate the value of their assets.


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FASCISM: Leftist Tyrant Letitia James Threatens to Seize President Trump’s Assets if He Can’t Pay Outrageous Court Fine Ordered by Judge Engoron In New York Civil Fraud Trial

Tyrannical leftist New York Attorney General Letitia James has revealed she is prepared to seize (steal) President Trump’s assets if he cannot pay the outrageous court fine as ordered by compromised Judge Arthur Engoron.

“If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets,” James told ABC News.

As the Gateway Pundit reported, Engoron fined Trump $355 million and banned him from doing business in New York City for the next three years. Engoron claimed Trump “participated in aiding and abetting the conspiracy to commit insurance fraud by their individual acts in falsifying business records and valuations, causing materially fraudulent SFCs to be intentionally submitted to insurance companies.”

This is nothing but garbage, however. As Jim Hoft notes, the banks did their due diligence before they loaned Trump the money and testified they would gladly do it again.

Trump is vowing to appeal the charges and has accused Engoron of conspiring with James.

James went on to tell the network that she is “very confident” with the strength of her case on appeal and she would willingly seize at least one of Trump’s buildings, specifically listing Trump’s 40 Wall Street skyscraper.


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“Nothing Succeeds Like Excess”: New York’s Perverse Incentive in Pricing Trump Out of an Appeal

There is also an added inequity to Engoron’s decision.

Under New York law, Trump cannot appeal this ruling without depositing the full amount, including interest, in a court account. Even for Trump, $455 million is hard to come by. Likewise, a bond would require a company to guarantee payment for a defendant who has been barred from doing business in New York and is facing the need to liquidate much of his portfolio.

Nothing succeeds like excess for judges like Engoron. By imposing this astronomical figure, he can make it difficult or impossible for a defendant to appeal, absent declaring bankruptcy or selling off assets at distress prices.

The excessive fine and its basis raise serious statutory and constitutional questions. Many of us believe it should be substantially reduced or tossed out entirely.

First, however, Trump must come up with almost half a billion dollars to park with the court. Even with a bond, the high costs of securing a guarantor could come at a premium. It would cost a fortune to the bond holder just to carry the risk even if Trump prevails on appeal.

The combination of the draconian fine and the threshold deposit for appeal has produced a shudder throughout the New York business community. The city is already experiencing an exodus of businesses and individuals from the top tax brackets. Rising crime, taxes, and eat-the-rich politics have made New York a hostile environment for businesses. At a time with rising costs from undocumented migrants, even Mayor Eric Adams is alarmed about the loss of his high earners.

The case brought by Attorney General Letitia James was unnerving for many. James previously sought to dissolve the National Rifle Association and campaigned on bagging Trump on some unnamed offense. The ecstasy expressed by many in the city reinforced the image of a thrill-kill chase around the island of Manhattan, like a corporate version of “Lord of the Flies.”

Watching the celebrations probably caused many executives to check time shares in Florida. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has rushed to assure businesses that there is “nothing to worry about” after the corporate public execution of Trump and his company.

But the best that politicians like Hochul and Adams can offer is that you have nothing to fear from confiscatory actions unless you are Trump in New York.

Which is precisely why this decision should be overturned.

What is clear is that this case would never have been brought, let alone result in this massive fine, except for politics.

For example, if you are the NRA, James will seek your destruction for financial irregularities, but if you are Black Lives Matter or Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, there is little real risk in such controversies.

If the only protection in New York is the discretion of figures like James, few businesses would relish the future. The message is that you can expect blind and equal justice so long as you don’t run afoul of the Democrats in power.

If you are unpopular, you could be looking at not only unprecedented actions and fines, but a need to virtually liquidate your assets just to be able to appeal a decision.

This should shock the conscience of anyone concerned about the integrity and fairness of the New York legal system. Confiscatory fines and required deposits leave not just defendants but the entire system bankrupt.


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Liberal Media MELTS DOWN Over SCOTUS GIVING TRUMP HUGE VICTORY As Woke Judge Removes Him From Ballot​



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Attorneys Say Trump Needs Access to Jury Information to Avoid Prejudice

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and attorneys for former President Donald Trump agree that juror identities in the upcoming trial this month should be kept anonymous.

But they disagree over whether these identities should be “protected” from President Trump.

“President Trump does believe that a protective order ... is appropriate. The basis for such an order, however, is the extremely prejudicial pretrial media attention associated with this case, and not the People’s meritless, counterfactual, and unconstitutional efforts to take away President Trump’s protected speech regarding matters of public concern,” the March 4 response reads.

In a court filing, prosecutors asked the court to warn President Trump that his speech and conduct, if it “threatens the safety and integrity of the jury,” could lose him access to juror information.

The district attorney had also requested a gag order on President Trump that would prohibit him from making statements about several groups of people involved in the case, including high-profile, key witnesses but excluding Mr. Bragg himself.

Defense attorneys argued that the prosecutors have presented a narrative without legal basis that paints President Trump’s right to personal and political speech as a “risk,” and that their basis for a protective order could actually prejudice jurors.


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Bragg Urges NY Court to Reject Trump’s Bid to Exclude Michael Cohen’s Testimony at Trial

Prosecutors allege interference with the 2016 election; however, the charges focus on “falsifying business records” and don’t directly relate to the election. The indictment claims that then-candidate Trump had Mr. Cohen, his lawyer at the time, pay to cover up an alleged affair and was reimbursed through The Trump Organization.

President Trump’s attorneys sought to block Mr. Cohen’s testimony last week, attacking his credibility and accusing him of perjury in a recent civil case involving the former president.

Their filing argued that Mr. Cohen’s testimony would be inadmissible evidence, and they accused prosecutors of trying to bolster their “zombie” case in a bid to “interfere with President Trump’s leading campaign in the 2024 presidential election.”

Prosecutors should be stopped from encouraging Mr. Cohen to tell more lies, President Trump’s attorneys argued.


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Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg asks to delay Trump's Stormy Daniels hush-money trial by 30 days

  • The trial over claims the former president, 77, falsified records to cover up payments to porn star Stormy Daniels was due to begin on March 25
  • Trump last week asked Justice Juan Merchan to delay his trial on 34 counts until the Supreme Court finishes reviewing his claim of presidential immunity

Prosecutors in Donald Trump's hush money case have asked for a 30-day delay in the start of the trial to review new evidence.
The trial over claims the former president, 77, falsified records to cover up payments to porn star Stormy Daniels was due to begin on March 25.
But the start date could now be pushed back due to a recent disclosure of thousands of pages of new documents by prosecutors led by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.

Trump last week asked Justice Juan Merchan to delay his trial on 34 counts until the Supreme Court finishes reviewing his claim of presidential immunity.

The Supreme Court announced last month that it will hear arguments in Trump's immunity case on April 25.