Trump visits Manhattan court to blast NYAG case, praises appellate ruling in his favor

Trump visits Manhattan court to blast NYAG case, praises appellate ruling in his favor

A New York appeals court ruled in favor of the Trump Org on Thursday while the Manhattan civil fraud trial proceeds

Former President Donald Trump has labeled the ongoing non-jury civil trial in New York against him and his business as a “weaponization of justice.” Trump, who is expected to testify in the trial on Monday, criticized the proceedings and characterized the lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James as “election interference.”

In response to testimony from a defense expert witness, New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who found no evidence of accounting fraud in Trump’s financial statements, the former president expressed his satisfaction. Bartov stated that Trump’s financial statements didn’t violate accounting principles, and any anomalies were likely errors. Trump, during a court break, praised Bartov as a “highly respected man” and reiterated his view that the case is politically motivated.

Trump Denounces Political Witch Hunt

Trump emphasized that Bartov’s testimony supports his contention that there is “no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud.” He accused the trial of being part of a “political witch hunt” designed to influence elections, claiming that it is orchestrated from the White House. Trump argued that the case should never have been brought and insisted it should be concluded.

The former president repeated his claim that the trial is a “weaponization of justice” and decried it as “election interference.” Trump expressed disappointment over being in court instead of being in Iowa, where he claimed to be leading by about 40 points. He characterized the situation as a “sad day for our country.”

Appellate Division Decision and Trump’s Response

During Trump’s court appearance, the New York State Appeals Court affirmed an October decision that temporarily halted the dissolution of the Trump Organization until after the trial concludes. The October ruling paused a pre-trial decision that found Trump and his family business committed fraud, stripping them of certain properties.

Trump hailed the recent ruling as a victory for business, stating that the appellate division’s decision was favorable. He suggested that businesses are closely watching the case and warned that it could deter businesses from returning to or staying in New York.

Background on the Trial

The trial, presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron, is a result of Letitia James’ lawsuit against Trump, his family, and his businesses. James alleges that Trump inflated financial statements and deceived banks. The lawsuit was filed under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury, according to a Trump spokesperson.

Trump and his family have consistently denied any wrongdoing, with the former president asserting that his assets were undervalued. Trump has pointed to disclaimers on his financial statements, requesting banks to evaluate the numbers. Despite the legal challenges, Trump remains a key figure in the Republican Party and a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election.