Search This Blog

Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Trump Legal: W and L

In Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politicswe look at Trump's dishonesty and disregard for the rule of law.

 Our next book will look at the 2024 campaign and the impact of Trump's legal problemsNew York courts have found that he is a rapist and a fraud.

Alan Feuer at NYT:
The Supreme Court that former President Donald J. Trump helped to shape tossed him a legal lifeline on Wednesday night, making a choice that substantially aided his efforts to delay his federal trial on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election.

By deciding to take up Mr. Trump’s claim that presidents enjoy almost total immunity from prosecution for any official action while in office — a legal theory rejected by two lower courts and one that few experts think has any basis in the Constitution — the justices bought the former president at least several months before a trial on the election interference charges can start.

It is not out of the question that Mr. Trump could still face a jury in the case, in Federal District Court in Washington, before Election Day. At this point, the legal calendar suggests that if the justices issue a ruling by the end of the Supreme Court’s term in June and find that Mr. Trump is not immune from prosecution, the trial could still start by late September or October.

But with each delay, the odds increase that voters will not get a chance to hear the evidence that Mr. Trump sought to subvert the last election before they decide whether to back him in the current one.

Ben Protess and Kate Christobek at NYT:

Donald J. Trump on Wednesday lost his initial bid for a New York appeals court to pause the more than $450 million judgment he faces in a civil fraud case, a decision that could expose him to financial peril.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers had asked the appeals court to allow him to post only a $100 million bond — a promise from an outside company that the judgment eventually will be paid — because securing one for the full amount was “impossible,” they said.

A single appellate court judge assigned to consider Mr. Trump’s request, Anil Singh, turned him down on Wednesday. Mr. Trump will try again next month with a panel of five appellate court judges, but for now, the former president is still on the hook to post a bond for the full amount of more than $450 million. And any company providing one would probably require him to pledge cash and other collateral that he does not yet have.

If Mr. Trump fails to secure the bond, the New York attorney general’s office, which brought the case accusing him of fraudulently inflating his net worth, can collect the $454 million from him. The attorney general, Letitia James, is expected to provide Mr. Trump a 30-day grace period, which will expire on March 25, at which point she could move swiftly to seize Mr. Trump’s bank accounts and perhaps take control of his New York properties.

Aaron Blake at WP:

Trump lawyer Christopher Kise added during a hearing Wednesday, “No one, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Donald Trump, has 500 million laying around.” (Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

But in the very same legal proceedings less than a year ago, Trump indicated he had something close to that amount of cash at his disposal.

In an April 2023 deposition, Trump volunteered that he had “substantially in excess of 400 million in cash.”

“Developers usually don’t have cash. They have assets, not cash,” Trump said. “We have, I believe, 400 plus and going up very substantially every month.”

Trump added later that, despite the legal fees he was facing, “I have over 400 — fairly substantially over $400 million in cash. That’s just cash. That’s just cash.”

It’s not clear that Trump’s legal team is saying that he doesn’t actually have the cash, as much as that producing a bond in the full amount is impractical.

It’s also possible that Trump’s cash flow has declined in the intervening months. But he claimed it was increasing significantly as of April 2023.

The Trump legal team’s claims are also at odds with what one of its own members said last week, after the judgment.

Appearing on Fox News, Trump lawyer Alina Habba noted that a bond including the full amount would have to be posted and added that “we will be prepared to do that.”

“Unfortunately, they picked the wrong guy to pick on, in my opinion, because he’s strong, he’s resilient, and he happens to have a lot of cash,” Habba added.