Trump Must Pay Half a Billion Dollars Before He Can Appeal New York Decision

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AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Former President Donald Trump must pay nearly half a billion dollars as a bond to New York State before he can appeal the ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron last week that he must pay $354 million in fines — over $450 million, with interest — for fraud.

Critics have noted that Trump is the only person ever to be sued under an obscure New York fraud statute that does not require any harm be done, and that effectively criminalizes the everyday practice of real estate valuations in negotiations with banks.

Though Attorney General Letitia James — who ran for office promising to target Trump — claimed that no one is above the law, her case against Trump marks the only such case in the history of the state. And the staggering fine is likewise unprecedented.

Jonathan Turley points out another astonishing fact at the New York Post: before he can appeal, Trump must pay the whole fine:

Under New York law, Trump cannot appeal this ruling without depositing the full amount, including interest, in a court account. Even for Trump, $455 million is hard to come by. Likewise, a bond would require a company to guarantee payment for a defendant who has been barred from doing business in New York and is facing the need to liquidate much of his portfolio.
Nothing succeeds like excess for judges like Engoron. By imposing this astronomical figure, he can make it difficult or impossible for a defendant to appeal, absent declaring bankruptcy or selling off assets at distress prices.
The excessive fine and its basis raise serious statutory and constitutional questions. Many of us believe it should be substantially reduced or tossed out entirely.

Engoron also refused to allow Trump to mount any defense, declaring Trump guilty via summary judgment for the state.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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