Donald Trump Loses Bid To Delay The Civil Fraud Trial As NY Appeals Court Rejects Request
After a New York appeals court rejected the former president's request to delay it, Donald Trump's civil fraud trial over claims that he exaggerated the value of his properties by billions of dollars is likely to start on October 2. The Republican leader and business tycoon had claimed that the trial judge had erroneously refused to dismiss the majority of the case.
Trump's request to delay the trial was refused in a brief ruling by a five-judge panel of the Manhattan-based Appellate Division, a mid-level appeals court, as per Reuters. As a result, the trial was no longer suspended while Justice David Friedman evaluated Trump's motion, which was issued on September 14. On the panel on Thursday, Friedman took part.
As per NYTimes, the lawsuit was filed last year by Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, who claimed that Trump had misrepresented his net worth by as much as $2.2 billion in some years to get better loan conditions from banks. Justice Arthur F. Engoron dealt Trump a severe blow on Tuesday in an unexpected pretrial decision, finding him responsible for falsely inflating the value of his assets and depriving him of control over his New York buildings.
Trump does have options. He could still appeal Justice Engoron's decision and ask for an immediate halt to the trial, but it's uncertain if the appeals court would do so. The trial, which would be handled by Justice Engoron rather than a jury, would address other aspects of the case, most notably whether Mr. Trump and his corporation will receive a financial penalty. Trump's liability for fraud has already been essentially determined. The illegal earnings worth $250 million are what Ms. James is attempting to recoup.
The civil lawsuit will be the first government action against the former president to go to trial by NY attorney general, James. It has been a week of devastating legal setbacks for the Republican party 2024 front-runner as he deals with the fallout from federal investigations that, aside from Ms. James's case, have led to four criminal indictments were punctuated by the appeals court's decision to permit the trial to proceed on Thursday. The appeals court's denial of a stay just days before the trial is scheduled to begin, according to John W. Moscow, a former Manhattan prosecutor who has worked on fraud investigations for decades, was merely good judgment.
“That they denied it without comment that doesn’t strike me as in any way surprising,” he said. “That’s what you would expect an appellate court to do.” Trump had called out the decision made by Justice Engoron as "outrageous" and "completely disconnected from the facts and governing law." The judge, according to him, disregarded "basic legal, accounting, and business principles."
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