1705036943 The Trump Organization39s civil trial ends in a bitter dispute

The Trump Organization's civil trial ends in a bitter dispute in New York

Former US President Donald Trump, in New York, January 11, 2024. Former US President Donald Trump, in New York, January 11, 2024. STEFAN JEREMIAH / AP

“Mr. Kise, please check on your client.” » This Thursday, January 11th, Donald Trump took the floor in the middle of the day to argue his case and feverishly attacked the Democratic judge Arthur Engoron (74), who has been leading the debates since the beginning of October 2023 in a court in Manhattan. “You have your own agenda, I definitely understand that. “You are not able to listen for more than a minute,” attacks the former president, who then uses his lawyer Chris Kise to get the judge to order him.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Donald Trump on trial in New York: a trial with high financial risks

The line of defense of the former President of the United States, who exceptionally wants to partially guarantee his own defense, is constant: this civil lawsuit over the possible overvaluation of the assets of the Trump empire is a political conspiracy. “I am an innocent man. “I was persecuted by someone running for office,” complains Donald Trump, addressing New York Attorney General Letitia James, an elected Democrat who actually campaigned in 2018 by promising to attack the real estate mogul and his empire. The argument will win over the former president's supporters in the middle of a campaign, even if it has little chance of astounding the judge.

The prosecutor accuses Donald Trump and his galaxy, the Trump Organization, of artificially inflating the value of his real estate assets, which allowed him to obtain lower interest rates on his loans and higher loans based on the – overstated – value of the goods given as Security. The banks demanded that Donald Trump always have $50 million (45.5 million euros) in cash and assets of $2.5 billion.

“A complaint fabricated to further a political agenda”

Among the most absurd assessments is that of Donald Trump's triplex in New York, whose value increased from $80 million to $327 million between 2011 and 2015, while its announced area tripled compared to reality. Ms. James is now seeking a fine of $370 million, more than the $250 million sought at the start of the trial, and a ban on Donald Trump and his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., from running businesses in New York for 5 years .

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers The financial maneuvers of the Trump clan are on trial in a New York court

Donald Trump's lawyer reiterated in closing arguments that real estate appraisals are subjective and that Deutsche Bank, the Trump Organization's main lender, had its own behavior and made loans in any case. “All the banks got all their money back. They were excellent loans. They’re as happy as can be,” Mr. Trump said.

You still have 50% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.