The judge overseeing the civil case against former President Donald Trump’s real estate empire slapped down his attorneys for what he said amounted to making false statements by repeating arguments he previously dismissed. The former president’s attorneys have sought to have the civil suit against him thrown out due to their contention that the statute of limitations had run out.
“The foundation of the case is to ignore everything,” Trump attorney Chris Kise said. “The case comes down to prosecuting the defendants for engaging in successful business transactions.”
An appellate court ruled in June that had been the case on some of the allegations.
Kise asked Judge Arthur Engoron, the judge overseeing the case, to dismiss it arguing that no fraud had occurred.
“The fact that no one was hurt does not mean the case gets dismissed,” Engoron said, adding that “fairness in the marketplace” suffered from Trump’s actions.
Attorney General: Trump Incorrectly Values Properties
New York state Attorney General Letitia James wants the Trump Organization declared liable for filing fraudulent financial statements. James ran for office in 2018 vowing to get Trump. She claims that Trump inflated his net worth by as much as $3.6 billion to get loans and insurance and hopes to impose a $250 million fine on the Trump Organization. Her lawsuit claimed that Trump cooked his financial statements between 2011 and 2021 to get better terms for loans.
That included overvaluing his penthouse at Trump Tower in Manhattan and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Properties such as 40 Wall Street, and his multiple golf courses also figured into the arguments in court.
The alleged valuation of the penthouse was exaggerated by reporting it was triple its actual size. Mar-a-Lago was valued at $739 million by claiming it was an unrestricted property that Trump could develop as he wished even though that was not true.
James wants the judge to find Trump liable before a jury can hear all of the evidence.
Trump Attorney Fails to Get Case Dismissed
Trump’s lawyer contended Friday the case should be thrown out because there was not any fraud. He noted that the insurance companies had not used the numbers James’ office had used to get the alleged valuations of Trump’s properties.
“When I first heard those arguments, I thought that was a joke,” Judge Arthur Engoron, the judge overseeing the case, said while threatening sanctions against Trump’s attorneys. “The rule on sanctions is if you’ve been warned, don’t do it. You were warned.”
The judge became visibly agitated.
“You cannot make false statements and use them in business,” Engoron said.
Trump Attorney Says AG Office Erred
Kise alleged that the attorney general’s office had cherry picked building appraisals to make the former president look bad. He claimed Trump was a master of finding value in properties where others did not.
“This is why billionaires are billionaires,” Kise said.
Trump filed a lawsuit against Engoron claiming last week that he was taking too long to narrow the scope of the issues under consideration.
“To the extent [Trump] might seek to blame others or to downplay his role, he cannot do so,” Andrew Amer, a lawyer arguing Friday for the attorney general’s office, said.
The trial is set to get underway on October 2.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.
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