Donald Trump’s lawyers seek to halt civil fraud trial and block ruling disrupting real estate empire

Former President Donald Trump listens during his civil fraud trial at the State Supreme Court...
Former President Donald Trump listens throughout his civil fraud trial on the State Supreme Courtroom constructing in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (Jeenah Moon/The New York Occasions by way of AP, Pool)(AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s legal professionals requested a New York appeals court docket Friday to halt his Manhattan civil fraud trial whereas they battle a court docket ruling that requires dissolving firms that management among the former president’s most prized property, together with Trump Tower.

Trump’s legal professionals requested the state’s intermediate appellate court docket to droop the trial in New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James’ lawsuit and forestall Decide Arthur Engoron from imposing his ruling of final week, which revokes the Republican frontrunner’s enterprise licenses and places a court-appointed receiver in control of his firms.

Engoron “clearly doesn’t comprehend the scope of the chaos (his) determination has wrought,” Trump legal professionals Clifford Robert, Michael Farina and Michael Madaio wrote in a 41-page appellate temporary filed because the non-jury trial entered its fifth day of testimony.

Taking Trump’s firms “will unquestionably inflict extreme and irreparable hurt,” not solely on Trump and different defendants, however workers and others “who depend upon the affected entities for his or her livelihoods,” Trump’s legal professionals argued.

The appellate court docket final week rejected the protection’s last-minute effort to delay the trial simply days earlier than it started. On Thursday, Trump’s legal professionals dropped a lawsuit they filed towards Engoron as a part of that problem.

The appellate court docket has but to rule on the newest attraction.

James’ workplace stated it was prepared to debate delaying enforcement of Engoron’s ruling till after the trial and a call on six remaining claims in her lawsuit towards Trump and different defendants. However, provided that the trial proceeds as scheduled, Senior Assistant Solicitor Normal Dennis Fan wrote in a letter to the appellate court docket.

Fan argued towards “upending an ongoing trial midstream,” noting the in depth court docket planning and safety sources expended for Trump to attend the primary three days of testimony, particular preparations for press and public entry, and the affect {that a} delay would have on witnesses who’ve cleared their schedules to testify.

“The defendants can proceed to attempt to delay and stall, however the proof is obvious, and our case is powerful. We’re assured justice will prevail,” James stated.

Engoron dominated final week that Trump dedicated years of fraud as he constructed the true property empire that vaulted him to fame and the White Home.

The choose, ruling on the highest declare in James’ lawsuit, discovered that Trump routinely deceived banks, insurers and others by exaggerating the worth of property on his annual monetary statements, which have been utilized in making offers and securing loans.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, arguing that a few of his property are price excess of what’s listed within the statements.

On Thursday, Engoron issued an order setting procedures for imposing his ruling. He gave either side till Oct. 26 to submit names of potential receivers and gave Trump and different defendants seven days to supply a court-appointed monitor, retired federal choose Barbara Jones, with a listing of all entities lined by the ruling.

He additionally ordered the defendants to present Jones advance discover of any software for brand new enterprise licenses in any jurisdiction and any makes an attempt to create new entities to “maintain or purchase the property” of an organization that’s being dissolved underneath the ruling.

Trump’s legal professionals argued that Engoron had “no rationale or authorized authority” to impose what they described as “the company dying penalty.” In addition they rapped the choose for not being clear in explaining the true world results of his determination.

At a pretrial listening to on Sept. 26, Trump lawyer Christopher Kise pressed Engoron to make clear whether or not his ruling meant Trump can be required merely to shut up some company entities or if he’d be pressured to relinquish a few of his most prized property.

Engoron stated he wasn’t “ready to situation a ruling proper now.”

“Maybe most alarming is (the court docket’s) incomprehension of the sweeping and vital penalties of its personal ruling,” Trump’s legal professionals stated of their attraction Friday, describing Engoron’s ruling as an “overbroad directive that sows confusion and chaos in its implementation.”

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