Trump’s Trials: A Legal Analysis of the New York Civil Fraud Case
As the editor of an online legal journal, it’s my duty to provide expert knowledge on the ongoing legal battles facing former President Donald Trump. One of the most significant cases is the New York civil fraud case, where the Trump Organization has been accused of inflating the value of its properties for years. This week, Donald Trump himself took the stand in this trial, and his testimony revealed a lot about his involvement in the case.
The Trumps’ Stakes
The stakes are high for the Trumps in this trial, as they face a $250 million fine and the ability to continue doing business in New York State. Moreover, Trump Tower’s symbolic value is on the line. It’s worth noting that the judge in this case has already ruled that the Trump Organization committed fraud, making the outcome of this trial particularly significant. It’s worth reiterating that the determination in this case will come from the judge, not a jury.
Donald Trump’s Testimony
During his testimony, Donald Trump contradicted his sons’ testimonies, taking a much more hands-on approach to the valuations of the Trump Organization’s properties. Trump’s team has a history of delaying law cases, and while this seems to be their strategy this time too, it’s clear that politics is a bigger concern for Trump, especially as he runs for president again. Trump’s actions and demeanor during the trial suggest that he may not care about the outcome of this specific case as long as he can keep his base in line.
The Defense’s Strategy
One defense strategy that Trump relied on was the idea of a disclaimer in the financial statements. The disclaimer is a note at the end of the document stating that these are all subjective valuations, open to interpretation. The defense believes that valuation in real estate is subjective and argues that the Trump brand adds an intangible value that cannot be measured by traditional valuations. The defense team also maintains the argument that nobody was hurt in this case as the banks and Trump himself made money.
The State’s Argument
On the other hand, the state is taking a populist approach, arguing that Trump’s actions hurt everyone by not playing by the rules that everyone else has to follow. Melissa Murray, a NYU School of Law professor, argues that people without the resources and connections that Trump has, would never be able to inflate their net worth or existing assets as he has been accused of doing, which amounts to cheating the system.
Ivanka on the Stand
Ivanka Trump was the last witness called by the attorney general’s office. Her testimony was relatively controlled and lacking in the bombastic and recalcitrant behavior of her father and brothers. She was willing to testify but found it challenging to recall details of business deals that she was heavily involved in.
While Trump’s testimony was significant, it remains to be seen how this case will conclude. The New York Civil Fraud Case against the Trump Organization raises questions of how subjective real estate valuation can be, and whether a prominent brand like Trump’s can substantially alter those valuations. This trial is an important test of whether the rich and powerful can get away with things that the rest of us cannot. As this case continues to unfold and we await the decision of the judge, it will be interesting to see what impact this will have on Trump’s legal battles and political future.
Originally Post From https://www.kawc.org/2023-11-11/tracking-trumps-civil-fraud-trial
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