Trump to Be in Courtroom for NY Trial 10/02 06:05
NEW YORK (AP) -- With control over some of his most prized real estate
holdings in jeopardy, former President Donald Trump says he will make a rare,
voluntary trip to court in New York on Monday for the start of a civil trial in
a lawsuit that already has resulted in a judge ruling that he committed fraud
in his business dealings.
"I'm going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,"
Trump wrote Sunday night on his Truth Social platform.
Trump lashed out in his post at New York Attorney General Letitia James, who
is suing him, and Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the non-jury
trial and made the fraud ruling last week.
"THIS WHOLE CASE IS SHAM!!!" Trump wrote. "See you in Court -- Monday
The trial is the culmination of a yearslong investigation by James, who
accused Trump and his company of habitually lying about his wealth in financial
Last week, Engoron resolved the lawsuit's top claim before the trial even
began, ruling that Trump routinely deceived banks, insurers and others by
exaggerating the value of assets on paperwork used in making deals and securing
The former president and a who's who of people in his orbit -- his two
eldest sons, Trump Organization executives and former lawyer-turned-foe Michael
Cohen are all listed among dozens of potential witnesses.
Trump isn't expected to testify for several weeks. His trip to court Monday
will mark a remarkable departure from his past practice.
Trump didn't come to court as either a witness or a spectator when his
company and one of its top executives was convicted of tax fraud last year. He
didn't show, either, for a trial earlier this year in which a jury found him
liable for sexually assaulting the writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store
In some ways, though, this new trial comes with higher stakes.
James, a Democrat, is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on doing
business in New York.
Engoron's ruling of last week, if upheld on appeal, would also shift control
of some of his companies to a court-appointed receiver and could force him to
give up prized New York properties such as Trump Tower, a Wall Street office
building, golf courses and a suburban estate.
Trump called it a "a corporate death penalty."
"I have a Deranged, Trump Hating Judge, who RAILROADED this FAKE CASE
through a NYS Court at a speed never before seen," Trump wrote on his Truth
In his post Sunday night, Trump wrote that Engoron is "unfair, unhinged, and
vicious in his PURSUIT of me."
Engoron will decide on six remaining claims in James' lawsuit, including
allegations of conspiracy, falsifying business records and insurance fraud.
James' lawsuit accused Trump and his company of a long list of fibs in the
financial statements he gave to banks. In a recent court filing, James' office
alleged Trump exaggerated his wealth by as much as $3.6 billion.
Among the allegations were that Trump claimed his Trump Tower apartment in
Manhattan -- a three-story penthouse replete with gold-plated fixtures -- was
nearly three times its actual size and worth an astounding $327 million. No
apartment in New York City has ever sold for close to that amount, James said.
Trump valued Mar-a-Lago as high as $739 million -- more than 10 times a more
reasonable estimate of its worth, James claimed. Trump's figure for the private
club and residence was based on the idea that the property, now a private club,
could be developed for residential use, but deed terms prohibit that, James
Trump has denied wrongdoing, arguing in sworn testimony for the case that it
didn't matter what he put on his financial statements because they have a
disclaimer that says they shouldn't be trusted.
He and his lawyers have also argued that no one was harmed by anything in
the financial statements. Banks he borrowed money from were fully repaid.
Business partners made money. And Trump's own company flourished.
James' lawsuit is one of several legal headaches for Trump as he campaigns
for a return to the White House in next year's election. He has been indicted
four times since March, accused of plotting to overturn his 2020 election loss,
hoarding classified documents and falsifying business records related to hush
money paid on his behalf.
The trial could last into December, Engoron said.