Trump’s lawyers say he’s willing to post $100 million bail while he appeals staggering fraud sentence

(Shannon Stapleton/Associated Press)

Trump lawyers say he’s willing to post $100 million bail while he appeals staggering fraud fine

Election 2024


February 28, 2024

Donald Trump’s lawyers on Wednesday asked a New York appeals court to halt collection of the former president’s $454 million civil fraud judgment while he appeals.

Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing that he is willing to post a $100 million appellate bond instead of a bond covering the full amount, which would have automatically halted enforcement.

They said a provision in Judge Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 16 ruling that bars Trump, his company and co-defendants from obtaining loans from New York banks for three years would make it impossible for him to obtain a bond that would full judgment covers.

The exorbitant and punitive amount of the judgment, coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket ban on credit transactions, would make it impossible to secure and pay a full bond, wrote Trump attorneys Clifford Robert, Alina Habba and Michael Farina .

Instead of an automatic stay, Trump’s lawyers are asking the state’s mid-level appeals court to issue a preliminary stay, blocking New York Atty. General Letitia James’ office is blocking the sentence from being enforced while Trump’s appeal is pending.

Donald Trump is appealing the $454 million verdict in a civil fraud case in New York

James, a Democrat, has said she will try to seize some of Trump’s assets if he cannot pay the judgment.

A message seeking comment was left at her office.

Engoron found that Trump, his company and top executives, including his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., plotted for years to deceive banks and insurers by inflating his wealth with financial statements used to secure loans and close deals .

Among other penalties, the judge imposed strict limits on the ability of Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, to do business. On February 23, the paperwork making the verdict official was filed. This began a 30-day period in which Trump had to pay or could appeal and request a delay.

Also Wednesday, white powder was found in an envelope addressed to Engoron at his Manhattan courthouse, the latest security scare involving the judge. Police said the substance fell on a court officer’s pants when the officer opened the envelope around 9:30 a.m. No injuries were reported and Engoron was not injured.

New York’s attorney general says she will seize Trump’s property if he can’t pay $454 million fine

In January, hours before closing arguments in the case, authorities responded to a bomb threat at the judge’s home. Engoron’s chambers have reported hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, emails, letters and packages since Trump’s trial began in October.

Trump filed his appeal on Monday. His attorneys are asking the state’s Appellate Division to decide whether Engoron committed errors of law and/or fact and whether he abused his discretion or acted outside his jurisdiction.

Trump did not have to pay his fine or post a bond to appeal, and filing the appeal did not automatically stop enforcement of the sentence.

The Republican presidential candidate has until March 25 to obtain a stay, a legal mechanism that pauses collections while he appeals.

Trump would get an automatic reprieve if he posted money, assets or an occupational bond to cover what he owes. He also had the option, which he is now exercising, to ask the Court of Appeal to grant a postponement with a bail amount for a lower amount.

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Trump’s lawyers said Trump’s vast real estate assets and the oversight imposed by the Engoron ruling, including oversight of his business by an independent regulator, would alone be enough to adequately secure any affirmative judgment.

According to them, the $100 million bond would simply serve as additional security.

Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, claims he is worth several billion dollars and last year tested that he had about $400 million in cash, in addition to properties and other investments.

In total, Trump has at least $543.4 million in personal legal liabilities as a result of the Engoron ruling and two other civil court rulings from the past year.

In January, a jury ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll for defaming her after she accused him in 2019 of sexually assaulting her at a Manhattan department store in the 1990s. That’s in addition to the $5 million a jury awarded Carroll in a related lawsuit last year.


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