trump has you covered
By Douglas V. Gibbs

The judgment was for $355 million in penalties against Donald J. Trump for alleged fraud (disgorgement/ill-gotten gains) that, after all of the dust settles is actually around the tune of more than $464 million.  The lawsuit was brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James on behalf of the State of New York.  New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron presided over the case, not allowing a jury, and ruling that all defendants were guilty and liable on all seven claims.  The argument was that Trump claimed the financial condition of the Trump Empire was better than it was; a summarization that calculated the net worth of President Trump was routinely inflated which was then used to allegedly defraud banks and insurers causing them to take undue risks.

In the legal world there are hurdles that must be cleared before any lawsuit can see the light of day.  Standing is one of those hurdles.  Standing is a three-legged stool that requires injury to be established, and:

  1. The Complainant has been injured or is connected to the injury.
  2. The Defendant caused the injury or is connected to the injury.
  3. If the Complainant wins the case then resolution, or partial resolution, regarding the injury will be achieved.

In the real world the ballooning of the value and image of one’s business or property value is a common occurrence.  Of course, one wishes the value of whatever is connected to one’s ability to secure a loan is as high as it can be.  For example, if one wishes to secure a mortgage loan and the borrower needs additional monies from the loan for other projects, they are going to hope the assessment of the property is high enough to meet the requirements for achieving the loan amount desired.  However, in the end, it doesn’t matter how valuable the owner claims the property (or business, or individual’s worth) is, the bank or lending institution will (or at least is supposed to) perform their own due-diligence to ensure they have accurate numbers and are being taken for a ride.  (Side Note: Funny how lenders were considered to be “Predatory Lenders” back during Obama’s reign, but now it is being claimed the predators are the victims with Trump in the room).  It is not the responsibility of the borrower to establish the value, it is up to the lender.  Sure, the borrower will hire a firm or company to perform the assessment, but the bank will not typically believe it unless they are an approved company for performing such tasks, or they have done their own assessments in addition to what the borrower had performed.  In the end, the bank is not required to lend to a borrower who they believe may be inflating their worth.  The bank can say “no” if they so desire.  Trying to convince them that one’s value is higher than it might be is not fraud, it’s a part of the process that, in the end, if the bank or lending institution is a good one, is fully under the control of the lending party, anyway.

As for the loans, and the work connected to the loans, the work was completed, the loans were paid back, the interest was paid as expected, and the lenders stated they liked doing business with Mr. Trump and would do business with him again.

We must ask, once more, “Where is the injury?”

If there is no injury, there is no standing.

After Justice Engoron ignored the fact that there was no standing, he not only allowed the case to proceed but he then decided there would be no jury.  When later asked about the lack of a jury, the answer was that the Trump team didn’t ask for one.

In America, that is not how it works.  Only in cases under a certain dollar amount, we call those “small claims,” or in cases in which the defendant waives the right to a jury by signing a document saying so, shall there be no jury.  Otherwise, a jury is a natural right not only discussed and enumerated as a right in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, but also is plainly laid out in the New York State Constitution.

Article I, Section 2 of the New York State Constitution reads as follows:

§2. Trial by jury in all cases in which it has heretofore been guaranteed by
constitutional provision shall remain inviolate forever; but a jury trial may be
waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
The legislature may provide, however, by law, that a verdict may be rendered
by not less than five-sixths of the jury in any civil case. A jury trial may be
waived by the defendant in all criminal cases, except those in which the crime
charged may be punishable by death, by a written instrument signed by the
defendant in person in open court before and with the approval of a judge or
justice of a court having jurisdiction to try the offense. The legislature may
enact laws, not inconsistent herewith, governing the form, content, manner and
time of presentation of the instrument effectuating such waiver. 

No waiver?  Then the right to a jury remains.

In other words, contrary to Justice Engoron’s opinion, Trump did not need to ask for a jury, he has/had a right to a jury and it could only be taken away if he asked for it to be taken away.

The Democrats, and Letitia James, have engaged in lawfare against President Trump, and are even willing to violate the law to achieve their political goal of destroying the man and keeping him out of the White House.  After the case New York Attorney General Letitia James even appeared to taunt Trump about the interest he may also have to pay, posting on Twitter (a.k.a. X) her glee that the post-judgment interest is accruing at nearly $112,000 per day.

She wrote on the day of the judgment: “In a massive victory, we won our case against Donald Trump for engaging in years of incredible financial fraud to enrich himself. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, and his former executives must pay over $450 million in disgorgement and interest.” 

Sounds like a pro-commie, anti-bourgeoisie/anti-free market attitude to me.  But, I digress…

On Feb. 23, James, who has denied having a “personal vendetta” against Trump despite remarks suggesting otherwise, posted flatly, “$464,576,230.62.”

“+$114,553.04,” she added in another post the next day, referring to the potential added interest Trump may be on the hook for.

Donald Trump has appealed the ruling, filing in the New York State of Appeals.

The verdict, which also violates the “excessive fines” natural right as enumerated in the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and Article I, Section 5 of the New York State Constitution

(§5. Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall
cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably

…is regarding a case that names no victims, and shakes up the objectivity of New York business and legal rules; which New York Governor Kathy Hochul sent a message out to other businesses to assure them they are fine as long as they aren’t Trump

“New York and Letitia James is in the face of New York corporate law,” claims Legal Scholar Jonathan Turley.

Now we find out if all of the justices in New York are criminals seeking to side with the Democrats, or if the rule of law still has some sort of meaning in the State and the illegal verdict established by Engoron will be overturned.  If not, I am guessing the appeals will keep on going, and in the end it will all be overturned, or at worst become a federal case that Trump can pardon once he is in the White House again, should that become a reality.

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