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Manhattan Appellate Court Grants Trump Temporary Stay Regarding October Fraud Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump, his family, and his company, the Trump Organization, won a legal victory in a Manhattan appellate court on Friday in a business fraud case brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Associate Justice David Friedman put a temporary hold on an Oct. 2 trial date “until a full appellate panel can consider Trump’s contention that New York’s fraud allegations, which include financial documents stretching back to 2011, are too old, and that any trial must be severely limited in scope if not canceled outright,” Business Insider reported.

The eleventh-hour, appellate-level ruling disrupts the $250 million civil trial, the Daily Beast first reported. Four legal sources confirmed the ruling to the Insider.

The situation “will be handled on an expedited schedule, with all legal arguments filed by September 25, followed by yet-scheduled oral arguments, the sources said,” per the Insider.

It’s not clear, however, if the decision will directly impact the Oct. 2 trial date, though it has been put on hold, at least for now.

Insider added:

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State Attorney General Letitia James contends that over the course of a decade, Trump lied about the value of his assets in official financial documents by as much as $3.6 billion a year, calculated misstatements that let him pocket hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits from banks, insurers, and tax officials. 

She is seeking to revoke Trump Org’s charter to operate as a New York corporation and to permanently bar the former president, his sons, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump, and two top Trump Org executives from ever running a business in the state again, among other sought penalties. 

Trump has responded, including during a face-to-face deposition with James, by asserting that the valuation of assets is a subjective and interpretative process. He has also noted that his financial submissions included disclaimers, cautioning banks and insurers to independently verify the accuracy of his accountants’ calculations.

“The judge who will preside over the trial, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, has repeatedly vowed that the October 2 date will be kept ‘come hell or high water,'” Insider noted.

A video that surfaced earlier this year could do some serious damage to James’ case against Trump. The video shows her vowing to bring down Trump when she was campaigning for the job.

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She bragged about, and campaigned on, saying that she would take on the sitting President of the United States, who was Trump, if New Yorkers voted for her and she won.

She fulfilled her promise last week when she filed a motion to obtain a court order to have three Trump family members appear for sworn testimony, backing her subpoenas of them.

Eric Trump shared the video of James promising to take down Trump on his Instagram page.

“This is not the United States Legal System – this is third-world prosecutorial misconduct. Promising to target a political opponent and their family before even entering office – it’s hard to believe this is America. Letitia James may go down as the most politically corrupt Attorney General in New York history,” he said in the caption of the video.

“Stay Tuned… we have sued her for her unethical behavior and a judge will see every one of these videos, her viciousness and the pure malice of her actions and statements.

“More to come: Tomorrow may just be a video of James ad-libbing the song “I will survive” while interjecting hate speech about Donald Trump…. very common for the top law enforcement official in the State of New York,” the former president’s son said.

“This garbage erodes Americans’ confidence in the legal system and it will stop. Thank you to everyone who has sent videos of her – we seem to get new ones almost every day. #KeepThemComing,” he said.

In the video James was seen saying “the days of this president are numbered, “we will rise up together and we will resist this president” and “bring him down.”

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