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Prosecutors Want ‘Death Penalty’ for Donald Trump’s Business Empire

Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. By Gage Skidmore.
Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Trump to Get Roasted in Deposition for Real Estate Civil Case: Another day and another piece of bad news for Donald Trump’s legal team. It makes you wonder how he and his lawyers keep all the legal proceedings against him straight.

The latest development has to do with a civil case in New York that alleges the former president and three of his children engaged in fraud associated with his business practices.

New York Attorney Letitia James, in a $250 million suit, is trying to show he misstated the value of his personal net worth and real estate holdings to attract better loan valuations and tax advantages. Trump is now being forced to testify on April 13 in the case.

Donald Trump Says He Is Being Unfairly Persecuted

Donald Trump came to Manhattan on April 12 for the deposition in a development that rankled him. He lashed out on Truth Social with the rejoinder that the lawsuit is “another unjust and ridiculous persecution of The 45th President of the United States.”

Will He Plead the Fifth Again?

Trump had previously been deposed last August when he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination a whopping 400 times while being questioned for four hours. He only answered a single question about his name. A trial is planned for October.

James is examining whether Trump and his organization misrepresented financial statements to banks, insurance companies, and the IRS. He is accused of altering the value of his business holdings by billions of dollars. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called the case a witch hunt that is politically motivated.

The questioning of Trump is during the discovery phase of the proceedings. He may or may not invoke the Fifth Amendment again but is likely to say he doesn’t recall specific instances of acts by his business that he no longer has direct control over operational matters.

The Goal Is to End the Trump Organization in New York

James is essentially going for the “death penalty” against the Trump Organization. Should the case go her way, she could bar Trump and his family members from serving as officers in New York corporations. The company would also be prohibited from engaging in commercial real estate transactions in the state. This would severely curtail the Trump Organization’s business activities.

Trump’s lawyers filed a motion to delay his deposition to later this year because they were forced to review a multitude of documents and evidence against him. The judge denied that request.

Judge Arthur Engoron said in a hearing in March that the “case is complex, but it is not complicated. Essentially, it all boils down to whether [Trump’s] statements of financial interest are true or false.” Engoron denied the motion to dismiss the suit in January.

There Is More Liability In New York

This is not the only civil lawsuit Trump is facing in New York. E. Jean Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in a store changing room in the 1990s. This trial is scheduled for trial April 25 and the judge has asked Trump if he is going to attend.

On the criminal side in New York, Trump is facing 34 felony counts related to the payment of hush money to an adult video actress to silence her about an extramarital affair they engaged in. This case is about Trump allegedly falsifying business records. Trump says the affair never happened and denies wrongdoing.

It is difficult to foresee a scenario in which Trump can mitigate all of the legal efforts against him. James, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are doggedly pursuing the former president and smell blood in the water. So, the legal walls are closing around Trump. His only hope is to tell the truth and rely on his lawyers to find ways they can fight the charges. He will need all the help he can muster to escape these allegations against him.

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Author Expertise and Experience: 

Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.