By Catherine Yang
Former President Donald Trump denounced the fraud ruling against him as an attack on his family, issuing a statement after making several social media posts about the New York civil case.
“The widespread, radical attack against me, my family, and my supporters has now devolved into new, un-American depths, at the hands of a deranged New York State Judge, doing the bidding of a completely biased and corrupt ‘Prosecutor,’ Letitia James, who ran for office based on a ‘Get Trump’ platform, before even knowing anything about me,” President Trump stated. New York Attorney General Letitia James had indeed spoke publicly about “suing” him when she campaigned for office, calling him an “illegitimate president.”
Besides this civil case brought by Ms. James, President Trump is facing several other civil cases and four criminal indictments with a total of 91 charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He claimed these mounting legal attacks came from the “radical left Democrats” as he rose in the polls, beating out incumbent President Joe Biden, and that they would “stop at nothing” in trying to prevent another Trump administration.
“Regardless of Party, we cannot let this happen in the United States of America!” he stated, adding that the “highly political prosecutors and judges” were becoming “more and more desperate and dangerous.”
“We are rapidly becoming a communist country and my civil rights have been taken away from me,” he wrote.
On Tuesday, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on one of the seven complaints Ms. James had brought forth in her case. Last month, Ms. James requested a pre-trial summary judgment from the court on the complaint that President Trump had inflated his net worth between 2011 and 2021, causing insurers and lenders to give him lower prices, constituting fraud.
She is asking for $250 million in penalties and to bar President Trump and his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. from holding executive posts in New York state. The judge has given them 10 days to recommend three independent reviewers to manage the dissolution of the Trump Organization and related corporations.
President Trump sought to move the case to the commercial division, which was denied. Subsequent motions to have the case dismissed for other reasons also failed.
President Trump said the charge of fraud is “both ridiculous and untrue.”
“As an example, this Democrat Operative valued Mar-a-Lago, the most spectacular and valuable property in Palm Beach, Florida, to be worth as low as $18 million, when in actuality it could be worth almost 100 times that amount,” he wrote.
Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. had both taken to Twitter to weigh in on the $18 million valuation.
“If Mar-a-Lago is worth $18 million… I’ll take 10 please!!!” Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president of Trump Organization, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.”If my father tried claiming the property was worth $18 million, he would probably then get charged with trying to underpay his real estate taxes! They’ve set the game up so it’s always lose/lose in these blue states. If you don’t abide by their narrative they will attack you.”
“The real estate circles in Florida are laughing at this foolishness,” added Eric Trump, also an executive vice president of Trump Organization. He posted screenshots of real estate listings of nearby properties “1/30” the size of Mar-a-Lago listed for around $40 million.
President Trump claimed the judge’s decision was anything but impartial.
“He hated everything about me at a level that I have never seen before, even beyond the hatred of that displayed by Letitia James. There was no trial and no jury for the supposed ‘wrongdoing’ of fully paying back sophisticated Wall Street banks in full, with interest, with no defaults, and with no victims.”
The former media personality and businessman had become president of his father’s real estate business in 1971, renaming it the Trump Organization and expanding its portfolio with skyscrapers, hotels, golf courses, and other ventures. Between 1991 and 2009, he filed for six bankruptcies. Real estate wasn’t the extent of his dealings; he licensed the “Trump” name, which accounted for a great part of his business, and from 2004 to 2015 co-produced and hosted the reality series “The Apprentice.” Having spent most of his career in business, the former president championed free market policies.
President Trump indicated he would appeal the case, and that “some appellate court” should take his case and “reverse this horrible, un-American decision.”
He previously also posted on social media about the case, claiming that his net worth was more than what had been listed on the financial documents in question, not less.
“I didn’t even include my most valuable asset, my brand,” he wrote. “The banks were paid back in full, sometimes early, there were no defaults, the banks made money, were represented by the best law firms, & were very ‘happy.’ There were no victims!”
He added that all the valuation documents include the standard disclaimer, a “non-reliance” clause that tells financial institutions to do their own research and analysis, and that he had very little debt.
“It is a great company that has been slandered and maligned by this politically motivated witch hunt. It is very unfair, and I call for help from the highest courts in New York state, or the federal system, to intercede. This is not America!” he wrote.