Monday, April 15, 2024

Trump Lashes Out Against Judge and AG Ahead of Major Fraud Trial Rulings

HomePoliticsTrump Lashes Out Against Judge and AG Ahead of Major Fraud Trial...

New York, NY – With two highly anticipated rulings in fraud cases against him expected this week, former President Donald Trump has aimed his ire at the judge and prosecutor behind a $250 million civil lawsuit alleging he and his family business inflated asset values for financial gain.

In a series of posts on his Truth Social platform, Trump blasted New York Attorney General Letitia James as “corrupt” and questioned the impartiality of Justice Arthur Engoron, calling the Manhattan Supreme Court judge “out of control” and a “pawn” doing James’ bidding.

The public venting comes at a pivotal moment for Trump, who hopes to secure the 2024 Republican nomination. By week’s end, Engoron is poised to decide whether to appoint an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s financial statements – a move that could force Trump to pay hundreds of millions in damages and potentially push him out of his namesake business.

Meanwhile, the judge in Trump’s hush-money case, Juan Merchan, could schedule the first criminal trial of an ex-U.S. president as early as next month. That case involves alleged illegal payoffs to adult film star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Trump has vigorously disputed wrongdoing in both New York lawsuits.

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‘Rigged Case’ Rant Draws Judge’s Ire

On Monday, Trump fumed over James’ three-year investigation into whether he unlawfully inflated his net worth to secure loans and dodge taxes. James’ $250 million lawsuit alleges Trump provided fraudulent statements of his overall wealth and the values of marquee properties like golf clubs and skyscrapers – enabling him to illegally gain more than $2 billion in economic benefits.

Trump accused James, a Democrat who campaigned on a promise to take legal action against the former president, of ignorance regarding his business empire’s finances.

He then took aim at Engoron, asserting the judge “refused to acknowledge” an appellate court’s June 2023 dismissal of claims against Trump’s daughter Ivanka – a ruling the ex-president claims should have ended James’ case completely.

While the appeals decision did excise Ivanka Trump as a defendant and imposed time limitations on specific allegations, it did not toss out the lawsuit outright. In fact, appellate judges have ruled against Donald Trump’s interests on multiple occasions throughout the legal saga.

Nonetheless, Trump insisted on Truth Social the appeals ruling was a clear victory that should conclude proceedings. He dubbed Engoron a “politically biased judge” who improperly valued his Mar-a-Lago resort at a mere $18 million when it’s worth up to $1.8 billion.

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In response to a recent Trump legal filing questioning his objectivity, Engoron stated “that whole approach is getting old.”

Hush Money, Capitol Riot: Trump Faces Four Trials

The civil case is just one of four active lawsuits against Trump spanning alleged sexual assault, illegal campaign contributions and attempts to void the 2020 election.

Last month, Trump lost a defamation case brought by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her in a Manhattan department store dressing room during the 1990s. Jurors found Trump liable for damages and a judge ordered him to pay Carroll $83 million.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles prosecutors charged Trump in December with four counts of perjury and four counts of falsifying accounts related to sexual assault allegations by another woman, former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll. Trump has denied those accusations as well.

In Georgia, an Atlanta district attorney is investigating Trump for soliciting election fraud during his 2020 campaign. That probe recently enlisted a special grand jury to weigh indictments.

And just last week, Trump’s namesake business went on trial in lower Manhattan over allegations its executives ran a 15-year tax fraud scheme that enabled lucrative perks like free luxury cars and rent-free apartments. Engoron, who is presiding over that case, heard closing arguments earlier this month.

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A Motion Hearing Thursday before Judge Merchan, who will oversee the hush money trial, could unveil a trial date as soon as late February.

Trump Fixates on Political Persecution Claim

In doubling down on accusations of bias, Trump argued Engoron improperly barred his right to a trial by jury or a fair trial overall.

“I have been refused exculpatory evidence, the right to call witnesses, even the request for a jury or fair trial by this pawn for the crooked Attorney General,” Trump posted about the judge on Truth Social.

Since James filed her blockbuster lawsuit last fall, Trump has relentlessly attacked her motives along with Engoron’s objectivity. He maintains both Democrats have weaponized the legal system to weaken his path toward retaking the Oval Office in 2024.

Trump punctuated his latest social media rant by demanding Engoron enforce the full scope of the appeals decision dismissing allegations against Ivanka Trump.

“[T]his politically inspired Case be finally and completely put to an end,” he posted.

With two decisive rulings due this week, the firestorm around Trump’s alleged wrongdoings appears far from flaming out.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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