Donald Trump has worst day yet in New York civil fraud trial as his underling’s scribbled note emphatically ties Trump to ongoing financial conspiracy
Trump under the bus
Alone in American history’: Prosecutors urge judge to deny Trump’s bid to dismiss D.C. charges
In new court documents, the special counsel articulated his clearest case yet for Trump’s prosecution for election subversion
Judge Chutkan grants Jack Smith's motion regarding Trump's absurd advice of counsel defense
The defendant attempts to rewrite the indictment, claiming that it charges him with wholly innocuous, perhaps even admirable conduct — sharing his opinions about election fraud and seeking election integrity,” wrote assistant special counsel James Pearce
Donald Trump's co-defenders
Donald Trump Investigations
Since leaving office, former President Donald J. Trump has been facing several investigations into his business dealings and political activities.
New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, sued the former president using a state law that grants her wide powers to pursue corporate wrongdoing.
The civil case was brought by Letitia James, the New York attorney general, in 2022.Credit…Ahmed Gaber for The New York Times
When a New York judge ruled on Sept. 26 that Donald J. Trump had committed fraud by inflating his assets, he effectively said that the heart of the case against the former president would not be subject to debate during his trial.
The civil case was brought by Letitia James, the New York attorney general, in 2022, and accuses Mr. Trump and his family business of lying to lenders and insurers about the value of their properties in order to secure more favorable terms. In a so-called summary judgment days before the trial, Justice Arthur F. Engoron of State Supreme Court in Manhattan found that they had done so — and that Mr. Trump was liable.
It is not a normal fraud case. Rather, it was brought under a powerful New York statute that gives the attorney general wide scope to investigate and prosecute corporate fraud. Because that law is being used, the questions that remain will be decided by Justice Engoron in a bench trial — one decided by a judge rather than by a jury.
Who is deciding the case?
Justice Engoron is an independent and thoughtful — if somewhat quirky — jurist who has served for 20 years in New York City Civil and State Supreme Court. The 74-year-old judge, a former cabby with a shock of white hair and a penchant for cracking jokes from the bench, will effectively be judge and jury, deciding the fate of Mr. Trump’s New York businesses, which make up a large portion of his real estate empire.
What is the attorney general’s special authority?
A state law that dates to 1956 gives the attorney general’s office expansive authority to investigate and punish corporations. It demands a lower burden of proof than other fraud cases. Crucially, prosecutors do not have to prove that the defendant intended to act fraudulently — or that they hurt anyone financially in the process. Mr. Trump has said repeatedly that the banks he dealt with made money.
The New York attorney general’s office has relied on the law for years in high-profile cases, including against UBS, Exxon Mobil and Juul — as well as Trump University and the Trump Foundation, both of which paid millions of dollars to resolve the cases before trial.
The statute allows investigators to issue subpoenas and gather information before filing a lawsuit, often resulting in many rounds of legal back-and-forth between competing sets of lawyers.
Who might testify?
Ms. James plans to call Mr. Trump and his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump to the witness stand. She also plans to call Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka to testify about the inner workings of the Trump Organization.
The attorney general submitted a list of 28 potential witnesses to the court in order of testimony. Mr. Trump is scheduled to testify second to last.
Trump's mess is about to get messier. Over the next few days Donalds children are going to examined and cross examined about their business practices.
This trial will likely reunite former and current Trump Organization associates, some of whom have testified against Mr. Trump before. Notable among them are Mr. Trump’s former fixer turned chief antagonist, Michael Cohen; the former Trump Organization chief financial officer and criminal defendant, Allen H. Weisselberg; the former company controller, Jeffrey McConney; and Mr. Trump’s former accountant, Donald Bender.
For their part, Mr. Trump and his co-defendants provided the court with a list of 127 witnesses who could be called to prove their case. Their list overlaps slightly with the attorney general’s, also listing Mr. Trump himself, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, as well as Mr. Weisselberg, Mr. McConney and Mr. Bender. They may also call up to 12 expert witnesses to testify about property valuation.
What punishment might Trump face?
While Mr. Trump is not at risk of going to prison — as is possible in the four criminal cases he faces in other states — the civil trial could still produce serious consequences for the former president and his family business.
Justice Engoron already stripped the Trumps of control over their signature New York properties — a move that could crush much of the business known as the Trump Organization. Ms. James is now asking for more.
She is seeking to recover $250 million in ill-gotten gains. She wants to prohibit Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York State commercial real estate deals for the next five years and to bar them from applying for loans from any New York bank during that same period.
As a final blow, Ms. James wants to permanently prevent Mr. Trump and his adult sons from running any New York companies.
Trump Could Lose Trump Tower (and Other Properties) in Fraud Case
If a judge’s ruling stands, Donald Trump could lose control over some of his flagship New York real estate.
A New York judge put a spotlight on former President Donald J. Trump’s business empire this week, determining in a ruling that he had inflated the value of his properties by considerable sums to gain favorable terms on loans and insurance.
If the ruling stands, Mr. Trump could lose control over some of his best-known New York real estate — an outcome the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, sought when she filed a lawsuit last year that accused him of fraud and called for the cancellation of his business certificates for any entities in the state that benefited from deceitful practices.
The ruling by the judge, Arthur F. Engoron of the New York State Supreme Court, came before a trial, largely to decide possible penalties, that could begin as early as Monday. Mr. Trump’s lawyers are likely to appeal.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers and a leading real estate expert have argued that Ms. James’s lawsuit does not properly factor in the Trump brand’s value or take into account the subjective nature of real estate valuations, with borrowers and lenders routinely offering differing estimates.
EVERY co defendant TURNING on Trump
Judge Chutkan reimposes gag order on Donald Trump
EVERY co defendant TURNING on Trump
Judge Imposes Limited Gag Order on Trump in Election Case
The order bars him from attacking witnesses, court staff members and specific prosecutors or their families.
A judge imposed a limited gag order on former President Donald J. Trump on Monday, restricting Mr. Trump from making public statements attacking the witnesses and specific prosecutors or court staff members involved in the federal case concerning his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Mr. Trump’s free speech rights do not permit him “to launch a pretrial smear campaign” against those people, said the judge, Tanya S. Chutkan.
“No other defendant would be allowed to do so,” Judge Chutkan added, “and I’m not going to allow it in this case.”
But the narrowly tailored order explicitly left Mr. Trump free as he pursues his presidential campaign to continue disparaging the Justice Department and President Biden. It even allowed him to assert that he believed his criminal prosecution was politically motivated. Judge Chutkan apparently left Mr. Trump leeway to attack her as well.
The judge also addressed a particularly thorny question involving former Vice President Mike Pence, who is both a witness in the case and one of Mr. Trump’s rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination. She said Mr. Trump could go after Mr. Pence as long as the attacks did not touch on Mr. Pence’s role in the criminal prosecution.
Judge Chutkan, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, did not immediately address how she intends to enforce her order. She said she would assess any consequences for Mr. Trump if and when he violates it. Penalties for defying an order range from a reprimand or a fine to jail time.
Judge Chutkan imposed the gag order at the end of a two-hour hearing in Federal District Court in Washington — one of the most contentious public proceedings so far in any of the four criminal cases Mr. Trump is facing. It was the second time in two weeks that a judge has placed restrictions on what the former president can say.
Jack Smith sets up Trump for pre trial
“They put a gag order on me, and I’m not supposed to be talking about things that bad people do, and so we’ll be appealing very quickly,” Mr. Trump said on Monday at a campaign stop in Iowa. He added, “I’ll be the only politician in history where I won’t be allowed to criticize people.”
Gag orders limiting what trial participants can say outside of court are not uncommon. But Mr. Trump’s status as the Republican front-runner, and his decision to portray prosecutors’ request for a gag order as part of an effort by the Biden administration to stifle a political rival, made the order especially complex.
In issuing a nuanced order, Judge Chutkan appeared to be threading the needle between balancing Mr. Trump’s rights to political speech as a candidate for the country’s highest office and her own duties to protect the integrity of the proceedings before her.
Mr. Trump and his legal team have persistently sought to portray the election case as being about his First Amendment rights, and they are expected to challenge the order vigorously.
Mr. Trump could immediately appeal the order, arguing it is an unconstitutional prior restraint on his free speech rights. In addition, if he later makes remarks that the judge decides had crossed the line and imposes a punishment, he could challenge that specific episode.
Much of the hearing was given over to heated sparring between Judge Chutkan and John F. Lauro, a lawyer for Mr. Trump.
Cutting Mr. Lauro off several times — and even laughing at him when he maintained that the pretrial release conditions imposed on Mr. Trump were working — Judge Chutkan staked out a position that was largely in keeping with the government’s. She repeatedly said that Mr. Trump should not enjoy any special privileges as a presidential candidate. She added that she was simply seeking to protect people involved in the election interference case from being threatened, and to keep Mr. Trump’s bullying remarks from spiraling into violence.
“This trial will not yield to the election cycle,” Judge Chutkan said.
Mr. Lauro, often using exaggerated language, sought to portray Mr. Trump as the victim of the government’s “tyranny” and “totalitarianism.” He tried to reframe the former president’s public statements, saying they were merely examples of “speaking truth against oppression,” and he baselessly portrayed President Biden as having directed the case against Mr. Trump.
At one point, the tensions nearly boiled over as Judge Chutkan noted that Mr. Lauro was speaking as much to his client, Mr. Trump, as he was to her, and warned him to “tone this down a bit.” Mr. Lauro responded by accusing the judge of trying to censor his own speech.
Mr. Trump has a long history of attacking those who have taken part in criminal cases against him. Over the weekend, in fact, he falsely declared in a fund-raising email and on social media that prosecutors in the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, had asked to gag him specifically to stop him from criticizing Mr. Biden during the campaign.
Federal Judge Reinstates Gag Order on Trump in Election Case
Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that her order should stay in effect while the former president’s lawyers pursue an appeal.
A federal judge reinstated a gag order on former President Donald J. Trump on Sunday that had been temporarily placed on hold nine days earlier, reimposing restrictions on what Mr. Trump can say about witnesses and prosecutors in the case in which he stands accused of seeking to overturn the 2020 election.
In making her decision, the judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, also denied a request by Mr. Trump’s lawyers to freeze the gag order for what could have been a considerably longer period, saying it can remain in effect as a federal appeals court in Washington reviews it.
“The First Amendment rights of participants in criminal proceedings must yield, when necessary, to the orderly administration of justice,” Judge Chutkan wrote.
The dispute about the gag order, which was initially put in place on Oct. 16 after several rounds of court filings and a hard-fought hearing in Federal District Court in Washington, has for weeks pitted two significant legal arguments against each other.
From the start, Mr. Trump’s lawyers, largely led by John F. Lauro, have argued that the order was not merely a violation of the former president’s First Amendment rights. Rather, they asserted, the order “silenced” him at a critical moment: just as he has been shoring up his position as the Republican Party’s leading candidate for president in the 2024 election.
It’s difficult to imagine Rudy Giuliani’s legal circumstances getting any worse. DC federal court judge Beryl Howell just entered a devastating order against Giuliani in the defamation lawsuit brought against him by Georgia state election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman. As NBC News reported: “Judge punishes Rudy Giuliani for ‘continued and flagrant disregard’ of court orders.”
This video reviews the appropriately brutal order just handed down by the judge as a result of Giuliani “hiding” from the court and the plaintiffs information about his finances, and how the jury will be instructed to hold that against him when they are determining how much Rudy should be ordered to pay Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman in damages.
In the past few days three of Donald Trumps co conspirators have gone from rapidly asserting the election was stolen to admitting they lied – have taken a deal with the courts and pleaded guilty.
So why is that significant. As all the TV crime shows say – the ones who take the deal first – get the best deal. In these court cases well kinda maybe.
Their sworn testimony can and most likely will be used in other on going court cases. It is anticipated more conspirators will admit to the lies distortions and blatant lies about the so called stolen election and flip. Admit guilt take a deal and swear to give up provide evidence against all the others including Donald T Trump.