Donald Trump, on trial with two of his sons for fraudulently inflating the value of the Trump Organization’s real estate assets, appeared in Manhattan court on Tuesday on the second day of this civil trial.
Before entering the courtroom, he once again attacked the attorney general of the State of New York, plaintiff in this case: Letitia James, the highest local magistrate and equivalent of a New York minister. of Justice, would be “very corrupt” and “extremely incompetent”, thundered Mr. Trump.
He then sat in the courtroom, facing Judge Arthur Engoron, and in the presence of one of his sons, Eric Trump, and Letitia James.
The favorite in the Republican camp polls for the 2024 American presidential election is playing big in this affair, which threatens to make him lose control of his economic empire, in addition to financial penalties of up to $250 million.
Monday, on the first day of the debates, the former American president denounced several times outside the courtroom a “sham” of justice, accusing Judge Engoron of being “a thug”, and Ms. James, who is an African-American Democratic elected official, of being “racist” and “corrupt”.
Donald Trump, Eric Trump and another of his sons, Donald Trump Jr, are targeted, along with other leaders of the Trump Organization, by a civil complaint from Letitia James, who accuses them of having inflated their assets in a colossal manner to obtain more favorable loans from banks and better insurance conditions.
The Trump camp counters that there is no irregularity because the banks were reimbursed and did not declare themselves victims, and that the valuations of real estate assets are necessarily subjective.
But even before the start of the trial, Judge Engoron estimated last week in a damning decision for Donald Trump that “repeated fraud” had been established, and that the public prosecutor’s office had demonstrated overvaluations of assets between “812 million and 2 .2 billion dollars per year” from 2014 to 2021.
As a result, the magistrate ordered the withdrawal of business licenses in New York State from Donald Trump and his sons, directors of the Trump Organization, as well as the confiscation of the companies targeted by the complaint, to be entrusted to liquidators.
Donald Trump, who made his fortune in real estate and casinos in the 1980s, has appealed, but if the decision were implemented, he would lose control of several of his group’s flagships, such as the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
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