NY AG Claims Trump Owes $370M In Politicized Case

In a recent escalation of a longstanding legal battle, New York Attorney General Letitia James reportedly is now seeking an increased penalty of $370 million against President Donald Trump in the ongoing highly politicized civil case she has brought in a friendly Manhattan court against the 45th president in the run-up to this year’s election.

The lawsuit originally sought $250 million in damages. However, in a new filing submitted this week, James alleges that Trump used various “deceptive schemes” to inflate his asset values. The trial, which has been ongoing for months, is scheduled for closing arguments to begin January 11.

The case is putatively based on James’ allegation that Trump overstated his net worth through various means, including inflating the value of his real estate holdings. The state’s papers filed with the court claim that Trump’s actions were so egregious that they “belie innocent explanation.”

Trump’s legal team argues there is no evidence in the record indicating any impact of the alleged misstatements on the terms or pricing of any loans. They pointed out that no witness from any bank or any other institution testified about any financial harm caused by President Trump.

Judge Arthur Engoron presides over the case, and he has previously ruled in favor of New York on several crucial aspects of the case. Engoron’s impartiality has been questioned by Trump’s supporters, given his decisions to pre-judge the question of liability and to impose and then reinstate a gag order on Trump’s attorneys.

Trump has been vocal about his views on the trial and James herself. In October, he accused James of being a “racist attorney general” and asserted that her campaign was based on targeting him even before she had any substantial information about him. He referred to her as a “horror show” who used her position to advance her political agenda.

James’ office has been relentless in its pursuit. In addition to the financial penalty, they have called for Trump and his associates to be barred from participating in New York’s real estate industry or serving as officers or directors of any New York corporation. This move is seen by many as an attempt to cripple Trump’s business empire in his home state.

The escalation of the lawsuit’s demands comes at a critical time, as Trump gears up for his 2024 presidential campaign. His supporters see the timing and nature of these legal challenges as part of a broader strategy to undermine his political resurgence.

Trump’s lawyers have countered the state’s claims by arguing that New York did not demonstrate any actual real-world impact caused by Trump’s financial statements. They maintain that the state’s arguments are speculative and lack concrete evidence of any actual harm or deception.