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Trump Lawyer Sounds Off: Fraud Case ‘Most Ridiculous I’ve Ever Seen’

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


Former President Donald Trump appeared in court in Manhattan on Monday and Tuesday morning for his trial on fraud charges.

Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, opened an investigation into Trump that could lead to criminal charges. Trump’s legal team will present their case to Judge Arther Engoron. After AG James accused the former president of overvaluing his assets, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in late September that Trump and his company committed fraud while building his real estate empire.

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, spoke out on Monday night and denied reports that Trump will be denied his right to a jury trial in the $250 million fraud civil case he is facing in New York.

The judge stated on the first day of proceedings in Manhattan that “nobody asked for” a jury trial.

Speaking to Newsmax, Habba refuted the notion that Trump’s legal team’s failure to request a jury trial in the fraud case was due to the fact that they “had this great option to have a box checked” but did not take it, calling the idea a “misconception.”

According to Habba, the case should not go to trial because it was brought under New York Executive Law 63(12), a “very narrow, not appropriately used section of the law” for consumer protection.

“It’s not this, and that is why we’re sitting here in front of a judge dealing with values of property, where real estate, anybody with real estate brains, anybody with real estate experience, even laymen, can understand that a tax assessment is not the same as the market value of your property, period,” Habba added.

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A similar argument was made by a Trump spokesperson in a statement to Newsweek: “The Attorney General filed this case under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury. It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”

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Late last month, Judge Engoron found that Trump had lied about his wealth and overvalued his assets to banks, insurers, and others.

According to James, Trump “inflated his net worth by billions of dollars” with the help of his children. Trump’s attempt to have the civil trial postponed was denied by a court of appeals in New York State.

As a form of punishment, Engoron ordered the revocation of several of Trump’s business licenses, making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to operate in New York.

The judge has stated that he will maintain the status quo of an independent monitor overseeing the Trump Organization.

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Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, spoke to reporters and provided a brief statement on Monday.

WATCH:

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After being elected in 2019, James immediately began looking into Trump’s business dealings.

Her accusations are just one of four indictments against the ex-president that have been filed in states all over the country, including New York, Florida, the District of Columbia, and Georgia.

Late on Sunday night, Trump took to Twitter to lash out at Engoron, alleging the judge was deliberately underestimating Trump’s net worth.

“Judge Engoron’s Valuation of Mr-a-Lago, the most spectacular property in Palm Beach, Florida, IS FRAUDULENT! He states a value of 18 Million Dollars, knowing full well that it is worth, perhaps, 50 to 100 times that amount. Engoron is working diligently to misrepresent me, and my net worth, which is substantially MORE than is shown on my fully ‘disclaimed’ Financial Statements. I have not even included my most valuable asset – BRAND!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

“He should resign from the ‘Bench’ and be sanctioned by the Courts for his abuse of power, and his intentional and criminal interference with the Presidential Election of 2024, of which I am leading all candidates, both Republican & Democrat, by significant margins. Likewise, Letitia James should resign for purposeful and criminal Election Interference. She is fully aware that Mar-a-Lago, and other assets, are worth much more than what she is claiming. Both of these Democrat Operatives are a disgrace to New York, and to the United States of America!” Trump continued.

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