Judge rejects Trump’s US$100m bond offer as he appeals US$355m penalty

Judge rejects Trump’s US$100m bond offer as he appeals US$355m penalty
Judge rejects Trump’s US$100m bond offer as he appeals US$355m penalty

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A judge yesterday rejected former US president Donald Trump’s offer of a US$100 million bond to partially cover the US$355 million penalty a New York court handed him for fraud. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Feb 29 — A judge yesterday rejected former US president Donald Trump’s offer of a US$100 million (RM477 million) bond to partially cover the US$355 million penalty a New York court handed him for fraud.

Trump, who built a public profile as a property developer and businessman in New York before entering politics, could have to sell or mortgage properties to post collateral to cover the shattering penalty if his ongoing appeal fails.

Trump was required to organise a bond as he challenges the February 16 court ruling that found he manipulated the values of his properties to secure more favourable rates for loans and insurance.

“The interim stay is denied as to the enforcement of the monetary judgment,” New York Supreme Court Appellate Division judge Anil Singh wrote in a court filing.

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The bond in question is a guarantee that Trump would pay any penalty upheld in the event that his appeal fails, and would typically be underwritten by an insurer or specialised bond company. No date has been set for the appeal hearing.

Trump — almost certain to be the Republican presidential nominee this November — was also banned from running businesses in New York state for three years and precluded from applying for loans from institutions based there.

‘Hurting me’

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Those punishments were temporarily paused by judge Singh Wednesday pending the hearing of Trump’s full appeal against the original ruling.

Instead of coming up with a guarantee for the full amount of US$355 million — plus considerable interest — Trump’s lawyers had applied to the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court to “post a bond in the amount of US$100 million.”

The submission said that Trump’s “vast” real estate holdings “would alone be sufficient to adequately secure any judgment affirmed.”

“(The) bond would simply serve as further security.”

Trump’s lawyers had attacked judge Arthur Engoron’s original scathing judgment against him as “exorbitant and punitive.”

Engoron’s “unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions would make it impossible to secure and post a complete bond,” they said.

The lifting of Trump’s bar on borrowing in New York raises the prospect that he could now seek a bond for the full amount of the financial penalty, which with pre-trial interest added stands at more than US$450 million.

Trump, facing 91 criminal counts in other cases, has seized on his legal woes to fire up supporters and denounce his likely opponent President Joe Biden, claiming that court cases are “just a way of hurting me in the election.”

Trump repeatedly attacked Engoron during the case, calling him “out of control”. — AFP

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