OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump finally had reason to praise a court decision in New York late last week, calling the Appellate Division, First Department’s ruling regarding his businesses “very good.”
The appeals court ruled that Trump can “hold off on obeying an order to dissolve his Empire State businesses until the courts can consider their status,” the Western Journal reported. Now the case goes before a four-judge panel, the outlet said.
But, the appellate court did refuse to halt the former president’s civil fraud trial, The Messenger reported.
After noting the “very good ruling,” Trump proclaimed: “I think the country appreciates it.”
His lawyer, Christopher Kise, added, “President Trump very much appreciates the court’s consideration and ruling today. The ruling helps pave the way for a much needed, and deliberative, review of the trial court’s many errors.”
“I think it’s a great thing for the country,” Trump told reporters.
Trump speaks at his NYC trial: "New York State just gave us a very good ruling." pic.twitter.com/kuhSBfOHuK
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 7, 2023
“Trump and his legal team also celebrated the testimony of a defense expert witness, New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who said he reviewed Trump’s financial information and found that Trump and his people did nothing wrong,” the Western Journal continued.
“My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud,” Bartov testified. Trump’s financial statements, he said, “were not materially misstated.”
A lawyer from Attorney General Letitia James’ office ripped Bartov’s testimony and claimed it was “pure speculation from someone they hired to say what they want.”
But the witness fired back, saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself, talking to me like that. I’m here to tell the truth,” NBC News reported.
Trump told the media that Bartov is a “highly respected man.”
“I don’t know him, but he’s an expert witness, and he found no fraud whatsoever. He found no accounting fraud whatsoever,” Trump said. “And like everyone else, he said, ‘What are we doing here?’ What are we doing here? This is a political witch hunt.’ This is meant to influence an election. This also comes from the White House. This is not just a state matter because the White House is controlling district attorneys.”
Earlier this month, Kise said his client would be the last witness in the $250 million civil fraud case.
He said Trump’s testimony will take place on Dec. 11 “in the trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing him and his co-defendants of falsely inflating Trump’s assets for financial gain,” CNBC reported.
CNBC noted further: “Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, has decried the case as a witch hunt and lobbed accusations of political bias at James, as well as the presiding judge and his principal law clerk. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has imposed gag orders barring Trump, his lawyers, and the other defendants in the case from commenting publicly about his clerk, Allison Greenfield. Engoron has also expressed concern about the hundreds of threatening and harassing messages that have inundated his chambers during the trial.”
Also this month, a state appeals court in New York reimposed a gag order against Trump that was issued by the judge hearing his case.
“The ruling Thursday by a four-judge panel rejected Trump’s appeal and reinstated the orders against Trump and his lawyers, who’d repeatedly complained about the clerk in court,” NBC News reported.
“State court officials had argued the gag order was necessary because of the ‘deluge’ of threats directed at the clerk after Trump had blasted her on social media. Trump renewed his attacks on the clerk after a judge from the state Appellate Division issued a temporary stay of the order earlier this month,” the report added.