Donald Trump skipped the trial in which he ended up being found liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll. But when he, his adult sons, and his business are facing a civil fraud trial that began Monday morning in New York, Trump is attending the trial. Priorities, right?
There’s no doubt that Trump and his fellow defendants will be found to have committed fraud—that decision happened last week when Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump had committed fraud by inflating his assets to get favorable terms from lenders and insurers. The judge then revoked some of Trump’s business licenses.
This trial follows that decision and will delve into the specific acts committed, with allegations including insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, falsifying business records, conspiracy to falsify business records, issuing false financial statements, and conspiracy to falsify financial statements. Although these are crimes, this is a civil case, so no one faces potential prison time. New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million.
"For years, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth to enrich himself and cheat the system," James said in a statement Monday. "We won the foundation of our case last week and proved that his purported net worth has long been rooted in incredible fraud. In this country, there are consequences for this type of persistent fraud, and we look forward to demonstrating the full extent of his fraud and illegality during trial. No matter how rich or powerful you are, there are not two sets of laws for people in this country. The rule of law must apply equally to everyone, and it is my responsibility to make sure that it does."
Trump, of course, claims to be a victim of persecution, accusing Engoron of “abuse of power” in a Truth Social post the night before the trial. At the time of Engoron’s ruling last week, Trump railed, “It is a great company that has been slandered and maligned by this politically motivated Witch Hunt. It is very unfair, and I call for help from the highest Courts in New York State, or the Federal System, to intercede. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!”
Eric Trump, also a defendant in the case, tweeted in response to Engoron’s decision: “Today, I lost all faith in the New York legal system. Never before have I seen such hatred toward one person by a judge - a coordinated effort with the Attorney General to destroy a man’s life, company and accomplishments. We have run an exceptional company - never missing a loan payment, making banks hundreds of millions of dollars, developing some of the most iconic assets in the world. Yet today, the persecution of our family continues …”
Cry harder, boys.
Of course, this is just a small part of Trump’s very busy trial schedule. He faces federal criminal indictments for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, for keeping classified documents after leaving the White House, and for obstructing government attempts to recover them. He has also been indicted both in Georgia for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in that state, and in New York for allegedly falsifying business records in an attempt to cover up affairs in the runup to the 2016 election. Additionally, he has another chance to lose to Carroll scheduled for January 2024. But this civil fraud trial that threatens the future of his business? This is one he really seems to care about.
Sign the petition: Hold Trump accountable without delay.