Turley exposes the ‘poison pill’ in Trump fraud ruling, warns that Trump may lose even if he wins the appeals
Law professor Jonathan Turley warned this week that New York Justice Arthur Engoron’s $455 million fine against Donald Trump contains a “poison pill.”
Setting aside the “unprecedented” application of the New York statute that was used against Trump in the civil fraud case, Turley highlighted in a new essay how Engoron’s ruling contains an “added inequity.”
That inequity, Turley explained, is a requirement that Trump put up bond if he wants to appeal the ruling.
“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,” Turley wrote in the New York Post. “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 legal scholar explained.
In fact, according to Turley, Trump will ultimately lose a large sum of money — even if he wins an appeal.
He explained on Fox News:
It looks like you’re trying to appeal a court order to take your home, but you have to sell your home to appeal the order. And I don’t think that Trump is going to have to liquidate assets, particularly if he goes on the bond route. But to keep up the bond, you lose part of that money, so it would cost him a great deal of money, even if he were to win. But by making this judgment so large, the judge makes it difficult to appeal his decision and it guarantees that Trump will lose considerable money even if he wins.
Trump, meanwhile, can ask the court to waive or lower the bond amount. Turley said the judge should consider doing that because of the legal circumstances of the case.
“This really gets into a point where it’s coercive for parties, where it becomes confiscatory,” he said. “You actually have to engage in a fire sale at distress prices in order to cover the deposit just to get someone to look at the judgment of one judge.”
A compromise, however, seems unlikely as New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is already threatening to seize Trump’s assets.
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