A civil trial in a lawsuit launched by the attorney general of New York was denied by an appeals court on Thursday, enabling the case to move forward days after a judge found that former president Donald Trump had engaged in years of fraud and had certain enterprises taken away from him as retribution.
The state’s intermediate appellate court’s ruling paves the way for Judge Arthur Engoron to preside over a non-jury trial in the civil case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which will begin on October 2 in Manhattan.
Trump is one of dozens of potential witnesses, which might lead to a confrontation with the judge in court. His real estate empire might be destroyed by the fraud ruling handed down on Tuesday, and he could be forced to give up coveted New York holdings including Trump Tower, a Wall Street office building, golf courses and a suburban house.
Asserting that some of his assets are worth much more than what is stated on the annual financial statements that Engoron claimed he used to obtain loans and close agreements, Trump has denied any wrongdoing. According to Trump, the remarks’ disclaimers release him from responsibility. His attorneys have stated that they will appeal.
On Thursday, messages were left with James’ office and Trump’s attorneys requesting comment.
In New York “these cases take many years to get to trial,” Trump wrote Wednesday in a post on his Truth Social platform that appeared to conflate several of his legal foes. “My Political Witch Hunt case is actually scheduled to start on Monday. Nobody can believe it? This is a ‘Railroading’ job, pushed hard by the Radical Left DOJ for purposing Election Interference. A very SAD time for New York State, and America!”
Prior to Engoron’s decision, Trump’s attorneys had asked for the trial to be postponed, claiming that he had abused his authority and interfered with their preparations by disobeying a June appeals court order to limit the trial’s focus based on the statute of limitations.
On September 14, they sued Engoron under a state law provision known as Article 78, which permits citizens to contest some court power, and requested that the trial be continued until that issue was settled.
In order to give the full appeals court time to review the case expeditiously, an appeals court judge named David Friedman ordered an interim stay of the trial. The stay was lifted by the decision on Thursday, allowing the trial to proceed as planned. Engoron declined to take part in the appeals court procedure through a court attorney.
Tuesday’s decision by Engoron found that Trump and his business, the Trump Organisation, had cheated banks, insurers, and other parties by submitting yearly financial statements that vastly overestimated their assets and overstated their net worth. Trump’s firms that Engoron ordered taken from his control and dissolved. James claims that Trump increased his net worth by up to $3.6 billion.
Following the decision, Trump’s attorneys once more petitioned the appeals court to postpone the trial.
In court documents, they said that Engoron demonstrated in his 35-page judgement his intention to disrespect the appeals court by ignoring the statute of limitations issue. According to Trump lawyer Clifford Robert, Engoron refused to reject any claims and based his fraud decision in part on old claims that ought to have been dropped.
The major allegation in James’ lawsuit was settled by Engoron’s fraud decision during a stage of the court known as summary judgement, but there are still six others. Allegations of conspiracy, business record falsification, and insurance fraud are among them. The judge will also make a decision about James’ demand for $250 million in fines.
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Trump’s lawsuit against Engoron, according to James’ office, is a “brazen and meritless attempt” to usurp his authority. James’ office also claimed that any postponement “would likely wreak havoc on the trial schedule” and might interfere with Trump’s four other criminal prosecutions.
The civil trial is the result of a multi-year investigation by James’ office, which involved questioning Trump under oath and the exchange of millions of pages of records. According to Engoron, it might take three months.