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HomeGeneralNYAG Letitia James Blasts Trump for Bond Filing, Says It’s “Unreliable”

NYAG Letitia James Blasts Trump for Bond Filing, Says It’s “Unreliable”

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New York Attorney General Letitia James urged the New York Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, to reject former President Donald Trump’s “extraordinary” request to waive or reduce the $464 million civil fraud judgment.

A picture of Letitia James and Trump
Source: CNN/X

James slammed Trump’s assertion that it is “a practical impossibility” for him to obtain the $464 million bond. Furthermore, she argued that the former President’s request was “unreliable,” procedurally improper, and based on a flawed premise.

“There is nothing unusual about even billion-dollar judgments being fully bonded,” Senior Assistant Solicitor General Dennis Fan said. “Defendants object to a possible ‘fire sale’ if they were to sell assets to generate cash to use as collateral.” 

He added in the filing that “the alternative would be to shift the risk of executing on defendants’ illiquid assets to OAG.” The New York High Court found Trump guilty of civil fraud on February 16, 2024. For years, the former President falsified the business records of the Trump Organization to obtain favorable loans.

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Consequently, the court ordered Trump to pay $464 million plus interest to cover what he unlawfully obtained through his fraud. Although the former President has since appealed his conviction, his appeal has been unsuccessful. He’s now required to pay the full financial penalty.

Otherwise, James’ office could begin to seize his properties to collect on the penalty. However, on Monday, March 18, 2024, Trump’s lawyers filed a statement contesting the judgment.

The attorneys argued that the former President could not secure a bond for the judgment. Furthermore, they noted that over 30 insurance companies rejected his efforts to obtain a bond. 

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They also claimed he did not have the cash to put forward as collateral. In addition, Trump’s attorneys said that only one of the 30 bond companies was willing to accept “hard assets” instead of cash.

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However, the NYAG wasn’t buying it. She argued that the former President failed to demonstrate his effort to secure a bond using properties as collateral. Hence, she suggested the issue is Trump’s doing because his “holdings are not nearly as valuable” as he claims.

The filing said, “Defendants supply no documentary evidence that demonstrates precisely what real property they offered to sureties or why the sureties were unwilling to accept the assets.” Furthermore, the filing noted that sureties may have refused to accept Trump’s assets because they would need “a property appraisal.”

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Letitia James added that Trump could attempt to secure multiple smaller bonds, “$100 or $200 million apiece.” “The use of real estate as collateral for an appeal bond is hardly impossible,” the filing said. In response to the filing, Trump’s attorney, Chris Kise, described the AG’s move as a “brazen abuse of power.”

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Kise added that James’ latest filing demonstrates her “willingness to misconstrue applicable law in her political crusade” against Trump. “Today’s missive does not even bother to cite New York case law,” he said. “This brazen abuse of power will continue until some judicial officer musters the courage to say ‘enough.’” 

“Until then,” the attorney continued. “The damage to the New York business community and the rule of law is irretrievable.” Similarly, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization described James’ filing as “reckless, unethical and sanctionable.”

“The Court made no such finding. The AG’s gross misstatement is reckless, unethical, and sanctionable,” the spokesperson said.

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