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Former President Trump Faces Legal Showdown in New York Over Business Practices

October 2, 2023

Former President Donald Trump appeared in court on Monday for a trial that could have far-reaching consequences, potentially impacting his control over prized properties, including Trump Tower. Trump voluntarily attended the trial, which carries significant stakes for him and is the result of a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lawsuit accuses Trump and his company of repeatedly deceiving banks, insurers, and others by inflating his wealth in financial statements. Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump committed fraud in his business dealings. This non-jury trial will determine the verdict on six other claims within the lawsuit.

Letitia James, a Democrat, is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump conducting business in New York. Engoron’s recent ruling, if upheld on appeal, could potentially force Trump to relinquish New York properties, including Trump Tower, a Wall Street office building, golf courses, and a suburban estate.

Trump, who is also a front-runner in the 2024 presidential race, vehemently denies any wrongdoing. He argues that James and the judge have undervalued assets like Mar-a-Lago and claims that his financial statements contain disclaimers stating they should not be taken as entirely trustworthy.

Prior to the trial, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to state that he was going to court “to fight for my name and reputation” and referred to the case as “A SHAM.” He even called for the attorney general and judge to resign.

Letitia James reiterated her position before the trial, emphasizing that Trump engaged in “persistent and repeated fraud.” She stated, “No matter how powerful you are, and no matter how much money you think you have, no one is above the law.”

The trial is expected to feature a who’s who of individuals from Trump’s inner circle, including his two eldest sons, Trump Organization executives, and former lawyer-turned-foe Michael Cohen, who are listed as potential witnesses. While Trump is not expected to testify immediately, his presence in court is a significant departure from his past practices of avoiding trials related to his businesses or personal matters.

This trial carries high stakes, as the outcome could result in substantial penalties and the potential loss of Trump’s control over key properties. As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how they will impact Trump’s political ambitions and ongoing legal challenges.

The trial is expected to continue for an extended period, possibly lasting into December, according to Judge Engoron’s statement.

Credit: AP

 

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