Former US President Donald Trump has described a civil trial over allegations that he inflated assets in New York aimed at hindering his progress in the 2024 US presidential election as a “farce and a witch hunt”.
Trump appeared in court in New York on Monday morning, facing a civil suit and charges of fraud and financial fraud, where a judge will determine the amount the former president must pay in fines for falsifying financial statements and inflating the value of his businesses. Assets over ten years from 2011 to 2021.
In contrast to New York courts’ practice of banning photography inside the courtroom, television cameras were allowed to film for several minutes, showing the intense presence in the courtroom and the heavy security around the courthouse and streets. It is.
Before entering the courtroom, Trump stood in front of photographers’ cameras and insisted that the case was nothing more than part of a witch hunt and an attempt to block his progress in the upcoming elections. He described the simulation. Ridiculous.” Trump said: “This is the biggest witch hunt of all time, and we have a prosecutor.” A racist general who lost his bid for governor is coming back to hunt Trump, and for your information, my financial statements are exceptional.”
Trump insisted the lawsuits were an attempt to harm him in the election, adding: “I’m not going to drop out (of the election). I’m ten points ahead of Biden and 50 and 60 points ahead of the Republican Party. This (investigation) is considered election interference. Plain and simple.” , they are trying to harm… “The harm to me is that I don’t always do well in elections.” He added: “We have a country in serious decline and a man is running our country who doesn’t know what he is doing. He is a disgrace. , what we have here is an attempt to harm me, and because I’m running, this investigation could have been conducted years ago, but they waited… “I’m in the middle of my election campaign, so I can be busy with other trials. allegations.”
Trump took advantage of his presence on the court to deliver a campaign speech accusing everyone of corruption, especially the judiciary in Washington, which he accused of being corrupt. He said: “They’re all corrupt, obviously, our country is corrupt and that’s one of the reasons I ran, so we’ll fix things, and what’s happening to me right now has never happened to any president.”
Trump defended the valuation of his real estate assets, noting that his most valuable asset is not the Trump brand, and comparing it to the “Coca-Cola” brand: the brand is worth more than all the company’s assets and he said: “We have one of the largest real estate in the world, ” He added: “(His company’s) undervaluation of property is a disgrace to our nation. I spoke to the banks. Got their dues in full and got a full denial letter. However, when the public prosecutor came to know about the denial, they said they will go ahead anyway.” “It’s good publicity, we’re dealing with very corrupt people.”
Trump, his three sons and associates are accused of inflating his company’s assets between $1.9 billion and $3.6 billion annually between 2011 and 2021 to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and insurance.
The lawsuit documents say: Trump’s company provided false figures for the size and value of his assets, meaning the trial in this civil case will focus on the amount Trump owes in financial and business penalties, and not jail time. . The judge gave three months’ time (until December) to hear the case.
The expected verdict in this case will have major financial consequences for President Trump, his family and his companies, as the financial penalties that the judge may impose could seriously damage the empire that Trump used as a platform to launch his political career. This brought him to the White House in 2016. The case began in September 2022, with charges against Trump, his three children (Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump) and numerous other company executives.
The Trump family and their company have been accused of fraud, falsifying business records, filing false financial statements, conspiracy and overvaluing Trump’s properties, including tripling the value of his apartment in Trump Tower. Both Trump and his three sons are included in the witness list, but this does not mean that they will be called to testify, and they have the right to voluntarily testify or refuse to testify based on Article 5 of the Constitution. It protects a person from giving evidence that would harm him and lead to his conviction.
The investigation is among four lawsuits and other legal issues facing Trump, none of which appear to have dented his significant lead in the 2024 Republican presidential race. But the financial consequences will have a bigger impact on Trump’s business. business empire, and the plaintiff is seeking $250 million. Gen. Ledita James fined $250 million and banned Trump and his sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump from doing business in New York, banned Trump’s business properties, including Trump Tower and his golf clubs in New York, and company Prohibited from engaging in commercial transactions for five years.
Trump’s lawyer, Christopher Case, argues that the valuation in the lawsuit papers is evidence of Trump’s genius, asserting that Trump is adept at finding value that others don’t see, and he questions the numbers and documents provided by prosecutors. They are based on incorrect accounting methods. Before his appearance on the first day of the civil trial, Trump said on the “True Community” site Sunday evening: “I’m going to court tomorrow morning for my name and my reputation.” He added: “This whole case is a sham,” and told prosecutor Ledita James and Judge Arthur Engoran, “See you in court tomorrow.”
Trump attacks everyone
Trump has launched a scathing attack in recent months against the attorney general, accusing him of pursuing him for political gain and accusing the judge of being deranged and politically intrusive. In December 2021, Trump filed suit against Attorney General James in an attempt to stop the investigations, and the suit was dismissed.
Judge Angkorone charged Trump with contempt of court for refusing to hand over documents requested by prosecutors and fined him $10,000. He also rejected attempts by Trump’s lawyers to postpone the trial date. On September 26, the judge ruled that Trump had overstated the value of assets when seeking bank loans, and ordered the dissolution of some of Trump’s companies, revoking some of their business licenses.
The ruling was based on a request by Attorney General Letita James’ office to settle some of the charges before trial, which would have focused on falsifying business records, providing false financial statements and other charges related to financial fraud crimes.
Since 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James has prosecuted Trump’s companies and real estate empire, and her office has accused Trump’s companies of embezzling funds and overstating the value of Trump’s properties and assets. She filed a $250 million civil suit accusing Trump…and her children and others in the Trump Organization of fraud and financial manipulation, making her net worth appear higher than it actually was.