Politics

Civil cases keep pressure on Trump

For all the attention on Donald Trump's likely criminal trial in Manhattan, he will face a far more pressing threat in the coming days: the prospect that he won't be able to post bail of nearly half a billion dollars. dollars in New York civil court. fraud case against him and his company.

Trump's lawyers revealed in a court filing this week that the Trump Organization contacted about 30 companies in an effort to secure the huge bond, but none would put up one that large without the former president promising a lot of money. At present, Trump does not have the cash to guarantee such a large obligation.

The bond would prevent Attorney General Letitia James from immediately collecting a $454 million judgment while he appeals the case, in which a judge found he fraudulently inflated his net worth. It's possible that a higher court could stay the judgment or reduce the bail amount, but if that doesn't happen, Trump will face difficult options.

The financial hardship imposed on Trump underscores that although he faces four criminal trials that are progressing slowly, the civil cases against him are already putting considerable pressure on him. He had to post a separate $91.6 million bond in a defamation case he recently lost to writer E. Jean Carroll. And this week, his lawyers requested a postponement of the civil lawsuits filed against him in a federal court in Washington aimed at holding him responsible for the violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

He could receive some good financial news in the coming days thanks to a complex transaction in which his social media company, Truth Social, will be made public, its stock price having been boosted by Trump supporters. But it's not clear whether his stake in the social media company can be easily or quickly turned into cash. And the liquidity crisis is not just personal. Its fundraising campaign is well behind that of President Biden.

Additionally, the giant judgment hanging over his head as he runs again for the nation's highest office has created the possibility that the transactional former president could find himself in ethical trouble while chasing money, said Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Washington. Minnesota who served as President George W. Bush's chief ethics lawyer.

“And with what he owes, it will be increasingly tempting for him to increase his revenue by making deals with foreign governments,” said Painter, who has often criticized Trump. “This could be a serious problem.”

Trump has never drawn a line between his public and private roles. After his election, he said he was handing his business over to his two adult sons, and they had stopped further foreign dealings while he was president, but he never placed his assets in a blind trust. The hotel he owned in Washington did significant business during his presidency with foreign governments and others involved in politics. He refused to release his tax returns.

As he prepares to run for a third time in the presidential election in November 2022, he signs a new real estate transaction in Oman, helped by the Saudis, who are also investing $2 billion in an investment fund created by his son. right, Jared Kushner.

In the New York civil case, James, the attorney general, expressed skepticism that Trump had truly exhausted his options for posting bail.

The immediate backdrop to Trump's financial strain is the first of several criminal trials he faces, this one on charges brought by Manhattan prosecutors of falsifying business records to conceal money paid to a celebrity. porn during the 2016 campaign. This affair, despite a recent delay, could start next month; the judge will likely make a decision on the timeline after a hearing Monday.

However, not all of Trump's civil cases have moved as quickly as New York's. In seeking a delay this week in the half-dozen civil suits filed against him in Washington following the Jan. 6 riots, his lawyers argued the proceedings should be wait for his federal criminal trial to end linked to many of the same events.

In requesting the delay, Trump's lawyers said it would be unfair to force him to defend himself against the civil lawsuits now because, in doing so, he could reveal his defense strategy against the criminal indictment filed by the special counsel, Jack. Black-smith.

If the prosecuting judge grants Trump the reprieve, it's unclear when the cases might resume. The Jan. 6 criminal case itself has been on hold for months as a series of courts considered Trump's attempts to end the charges by largely invoking executive immunity. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Trump's immunity request on April 25 and could issue a ruling by June, sending the case back to the trial judge.


We ask readers what they would like to know about the Trump cases: the charges, the proceedings, the important players, or anything else. You can Send us your question by filling out this form.

Given the wide range of emotions surrounding Trump, is the possibility of seating an objective jury realistic? Wouldn’t a hung jury benefit Trump? —Gregory Richmond, Chesterfield, Indiana.

Alain: Selecting a jury for one of Trump's trials will undoubtedly be a long and difficult process, not only because people have strong opinions about him, but also because the publicity surrounding the proceedings will be omnipresent . But the jury selection process will focus on whether potential jurors can put the noise aside and consider the case fairly. Trump would surely call any case ending in a hung jury a victory, but prosecutors could still seek to try him again.


Trump is at the center of at least four separate criminal investigations, both at the state and federal level, into matters related to his business and political career. Here's where each case is currently ongoing.

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