Trump gets surprise financial lifeline with $175M bond decision

Former President Trump won a surprise ruling from a New York appeals court on Monday that significantly reduced the cost of the bond he has to pay while he appeals a multimillion-dollar civil fraud verdict against him.

It's a decision that eases some of the financial pressure on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who famously seized the assets and bank accounts of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) after failing to pay the $464 million she owed. Faced with the possibility of going backwards. The bond which was increasing with interest day by day.

A five-judge appeals panel on Monday blocked implementation of that ruling unless Trump and his co-defendants post a much smaller bond of $175 million within 10 days.

Shortly after the decision on Monday, Trump said he would “comply with the decision” and would pay the $175 million through “bonds, equivalent securities or cash.”

It is the latest legal decision to move in Trump's direction as he mounts his challenge to President Biden.

The former president has seen the timelines of many legal battles slip to the point where many of the cases against him will not come before the court before Election Day.

At the same time, Trump's Monday saw a split decision when a separate court ruled that it would hear charges against him in his hush money case starting on April 15.

Nevertheless, the decisive victory in the civil fraud judgment was huge for the former President, who won the judgment just hours before the clock to pay out, which would have allowed James to begin seizing the former President's assets.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled before the Manhattan trial that Trump, the Trump Organization and officials – including his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump – were liable for fraud.

What followed was a two-month trial, where approximately 40 witnesses from the former president's business sector were questioned under oath about whether Trump had engaged in fraudulent business practices for more than a decade.

After the trial concluded, Angoron found that Trump and his co-defendants conspired to alter Trump's net worth for tax and insurance benefits. In addition to the $464 million judgment – ​​more than 95 percent of which is owed by Trump alone – the defendants were also barred from working in top leadership positions at New York businesses for several years.

Trump's lawyers asked the court to accept a $100 million bond, admitting last week that despite “diligent efforts” it would be “impossible” for the former president to secure a full appeal bond due to a lack of cash on hand.

Letting the decision go into effect could have had disastrous consequences for Trump.

Trump alone owes the state $454 million, and for every day it isn't paid, an additional $112,000 is charged in interest in the form of a hefty judgment. In the five weeks since Engoron issued its ruling, Trump has already accrued an additional $3.5 million in interest.

Without a court stay, James' office could begin seizing Trump's assets, exposing the former president to financial crisis and personal embarrassment.

The Attorney General could initiate the process of emptying the former President's bank accounts, garnishing his salary or forcing him to turn over his personal assets. She can also start the process of seizing the assets of the Trump Organization.

Earlier this month, James' office filed a judgment in Westchester County, where Trump's golf resort and private property known as Seven Springs is located — the first step toward seizing it. Judgments have already been filed in Manhattan, where the trial took place and many of Trump's most famous properties are located, such as Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street.

This idea alone completely infuriated Trump.

“Crooked Pole!!! There should be no penalty. Didn't do anything wrong! “Why should I be forced to sell my 'kids' because a corrupt New York judge and AG set a fake and ridiculous number,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post Monday, calling the decision “election interference.” ”

Any such action would interfere with Trump's carefully cultivated reputation as a savvy businessman with significant assets — an image that helped propel him to the White House in 2016.

His sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump will also be forced to repay their share of the judgment — just under $4.7 million each, plus interest — and their two-year exile from the New York business world will begin. The decision will remove them from the top of the Trump Organization, where they both serve as executive directors, and put the company's leadership in limbo.

Although the appeals court turned back the clock, James' office said Trump still faces accountability for his “shocking fraud.”

A spokesperson for the state Attorney General's office said, “The court has already found that he engaged in fraud over the years to falsely inflate his net worth and unjustly enrich himself, his family and his organization.” Is.” “The $464 million judgment against Donald Trump and other defendants – plus interest – still stands.”

The decision to proceed with the hush money trial kept the day from being a complete victory for Trump.

The hush money case relates to payments Trump allegedly made through his former fixer Michael Cohen to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who the two say they had an affair with.

That trial was originally scheduled to begin Monday in Manhattan, but Trump said the recent document dump was grounds for dismissing the case — or at least, getting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) to sanction and postpone the trial. to do.

During a hearing on Monday in Trump's presence, Judge Juan Merchan rejected all those requests and set a new date.

It would mark Trump's first criminal trial – and the first criminal trial of any former US president.

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