Ex-president attacks judges
Trump could lose Trump Tower
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Another trial against former President Trump is starting in New York, this time about manipulation of his company assets. The Republican does not have to fear a prison sentence – but the landmark of his Trump Organization is at stake.
Former US President Donald Trump has personally faced a fraud trial in New York that could destroy his business empire in the metropolis. The 77-year-old appeared in court in Manhattan for a civil case brought against him by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James.
She accuses Trump, his sons and senior employees of manipulating the value of his Trump Organization for years in order to obtain more favorable conditions for loans and insurance contracts. In a preliminary ruling last week, New York judge Arthur Engoron had already confirmed this in part.
The proceedings that have now started are therefore particularly concerned with the question of how high the punishment will be against Trump. Because this is a civil case, Trump faces no prison sentence. Attorney General James wants to ensure that Trump has to pay 250 million US dollars (around 236 million euros) and is no longer allowed to do business in New York. At stake for the ex-US president is control of several properties in New York state.
Trump calls Engoron “rogue judge”
Judge Engoron canceled business licenses for Trump properties last Tuesday, including the famous Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. They are placed under fiduciary supervision. The exact impact of this decision is still unclear. It is said that the verdict could ultimately force the ex-president to give up iconic properties such as Trump Tower in Manhattan.
“There are also other large properties in New York State that are run by his companies,” explained ntv reporter Oliver Beckmeier. According to the New York Times, around a dozen properties that are owned by Trump or over which he has partial control are affected. “He would have to give that up too,” said Beckmeier. The verdict could therefore be “extremely economically damaging” to him. It’s a three-digit million amount, said Beckmeier. Nevertheless, the legal dispute is likely to drag on – even after the trial has now started. Trump is known for exploiting all legal remedies in legal disputes.
Trump used the attention before the start of the trial to sharply attack Judge Engoron and Attorney General James. Engoron is therefore a “rogue judge,” Trump told journalists outside the courtroom in New York. James – an African-American woman – is “racist” and a “horror show”.
The trial over allegations that he inflated the value of his real estate was a “fraud” and a “sham,” said the 77-year-old Republican, who wants to win back the White House in the 2024 presidential election. “This is a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time.” Following his remarks, Trump took a seat in the courtroom.
The public prosecutor is confident of victory
Meanwhile, James expressed confidence that she would be successful against Trump in court. “Justice will prevail,” she said outside the courthouse. “My message is simple: No matter how powerful someone is, no matter how much money someone thinks they have, no one is above the law.”
James sued Trump and his family in September 2022. The ex-president rejects the allegations and describes them as politically motivated. The 77-year-old is the overwhelming favorite in the race for the presidential candidacy of the opposition Republicans – and wants to challenge incumbent Biden in the presidential election in November 2024.
Trump remains the favorite despite his numerous judicial problems. In addition to the civil proceedings over fraud allegations in New York, the ex-president has been indicted in four criminal cases. Two indictments concern Trump’s attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and thereby stay in power.