This week sees a return of The Trump Show to the city of New York as a Democrat prosecutor that promised to “get” the former president continues an investigation into his financial affairs.
Trump is scheduled to return to New York on Thursday to testify in a $250 million civil action filed by state AG Letitia James. This appearance comes only one week after the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg formally accused Trump of being connected with the purported “hush money” payments to Stormy Daniels.
“This case is really complex, but it isn’t overly complicated,” Judge Arthur Engoron remarked of the legal complaint last month. “Essentially, it all comes down to if Trump’s financial statements are true or false.”
According to James, Trump and others at his company defrauded lenders and insurance firms by exaggerating the worth of his assets to get loans for his real estate as well as resort businesses, then undervaluing those assets for tax purposes. James is attempting to recoup over $250 million in “ill-gotten gains” and to prevent the Trumps from conducting business in New York. Engoron has scheduled a trial for October 2.
Trump, who is scheduled to arrive in NY on Wednesday, has currently been deposed in the case, allegedly frequently invoking the Fifth Amendment.
Trump is facing a third legal lawsuit in New York, in the shape of a civil defamation claim filed by writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses Trump of raping her over thirty years ago and then defaming her by denying it. The judge in that case requested that both parties notify the court in writing by April 20 if they want to attend the trial.
The deposition is unlikely to get as much attention as Trump’s arrest and on April 4 on 34 charges of falsifying company records, purportedly to conceal payments to porn star Stormy Daniels for remaining quiet about a 2006 tryst. Trump believes the affair never occurred and that his former fixer, Michael Cohen, paid out Daniels on his own.
Legal experts have attacked Bragg’s case, stating that falsifying corporate records is generally a misdemeanor, and Bragg’s legal theory to raise it to a felony by alleging the payments were a campaign cost is a stretch.
James, like Bragg, ran on a promise to prosecute Trump, whom she previously branded an “illegitimate president.” Trump has referred to James as a “racist in reverse.”
“I will never be scared to challenge this illegitimate president,” James stated in a 2018 campaign video for attorney general. “I think this president is incompetent. This president, in my opinion, is unfit to hold the highest position in the nation. And I feel he is a disgrace to all we stand for.”