Trump Threatened With Jail in $250M Fraud Case – Justice Arthur Engoron threatened former President Donald Trump with jail for violating his gag order on Friday.
In the meantime, he fined Trump $5,000. Engoron found the Trump Organization and associated entities liable for fraudulently reporting the value of properties to banks and insurance companies, and to get tax benefits last month.
“I will now grant defendants the opportunity to explain why this blatant violation of the gag order should not result in serious sanctions including financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt, or possibly imprisoning him,” Engoron growled at Trump’s lawyers.
Trump Attack On Law Clerk on Campaign Website
Engoron handed down his ruling after discovering that Trump had not completely deleted a post that attacked his law clerk. Trump circulated a post showing his law clerk Alison R. Greenfield with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, insinuating that he faces a partisan Democrat judicial system. Trump called Greenfield’s work with Engoron “disgraceful” because of her alleged political bias.
The post referred to Greenfield as “Schumer’s Girlfriend.” Trump’s lawyers unsuccessfully had argued that several of the transactions under litigation had been outside of the statute of limitations. Engoron slammed Trump’s attorneys saying that they did not have “an opportunity to relitigate what I have already decided.”
The now deleted post said, “Schumer’s girlfriend, Alison R. Greenfield, is running the case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately.’” Trump also described the case against him as a “scam.”
“Today, in open Court, counsel for Donald Trump stated that the violation of the gag order was inadvertent and was an ‘unfortunate part of the process that is built into the campaign structure,’” Engoron wrote in his motion. “Giving defendant the benefit of the doubt, he still violated the gag order.”
Trump deleted the post from his Truth Social account; however, the post remained on his campaign website. That led to Engoron’s decision to slap Trump with the fine.
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, not appropriate, and I will not tolerate them,” Engoron said when he imposed the gag order earlier this month after complaining — without naming names — about Trump’s “disparaging, untrue and personally-identifying post about a member of my staff.”
Trump Faces $250M Fine
New York Attorney General Letitia James wants Engoron to fine Trump and his entities up to $250 million. Trump denies wrongdoing. Trump’s attorneys have contended that his financial statements were accurate because they represented the true worth of his “unique” luxury properties. They also suggested that accountants might reach a different conclusion about Trump’s financial position if they had all of the relevant information.
Former Trump Organization accountant Donald Bender testified earlier this month that he had not been provided with all of the relevant financial information that he needed.
“We didn’t screw it up. The Trump Organization made a mistake, and we didn’t catch it,” he said.
Engoron ruled last month that Mar-a-Lago had been dramatically overvalued. Trump claimed it was valued at $739 million.
“Donald Trump’s for 2011-2021 value Mar-a-Lago at between $426,529,614 and $612,110,496, an overvaluation of at least 2,300%, compared to the assessor’s appraisal,” Engoron ruled last month.
Other properties in New York were deemed to have been significantly overvalued.
Trump Cannot Make Another Mistake
Trump is on notice.
“Make no mistake,” Engoron said, “Future violations, whether intentional or unintentional will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steeper financial penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him pursuant to New York Judiciary Law.”
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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