Former President Trump was found guilty of “persistent fraud” by the New York Supreme Court this week. This came after the NY State Attorney General’s Office (OAG) claimed Trump had made, verified, and given lenders fake and misleading financial accounts. As a response, Trump called the decision “Democrat Political Lawfare.”
According to the judge’s ruling on November 3, 2022, there was “a pattern of fraudulent activity by defendant Donald J. Trump’s organization, which included misleading and false financial condition statements submitted by the defendant, along with his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr.”
The suspects asked the court to throw out the case, but on January 6, 2023, the court said no. Those accused were allowed to challenge that decision.
Trump replied in a post on Truth Social, his own social media site.
Trump wrote, “The extensive attack on me, my family, as well as my supporters has reached new, un-American levels, carried out by a DERANGED New York State Judge acting on the orders of a totally biased and dishonest ‘Prosecutor,’ Letitia James. This is political lawfare by Democrats and a witch hunt on a scale that has never been seen before. It’s an attempt to hurt the leading political candidate for the other party very badly.”
“This has never happened in our country’s history,” he said. “My civil rights have been abused, and this awful, un-American ruling needs to be overturned by a federal or state appeals court. They are able to do this to YOU if they’re able to do it to me!”
Trump has said that his financial records were not fake because they had disclaimers in them. However, Engoron rejected that reasoning, stating, “It is meaningless for the defendants to rely on these ‘worthless’ disclaimers.”
In a document dated late August, New York Attorney General Letitia James supported the plaintiffs’ request, stating that “Defendants used the exact same process each year to produce misleading and false SFCs. The SFCs list amounts for Mr. Trump’s assets, mainly real estate, that are said to be noted, ‘at their estimated present values.’ This is a term used in accounting to describe the value that a willing purchaser and willing seller could come to an agreement on, so long as both have been thoroughly informed and neither has acted under duress. After taking away Mr. Trump’s debts, the ‘estimated present values’ are used to find his net worth.”
The judge went on to criticize the Trump lawyers for using what he called “bogus arguments,” such as “rent-controlled apartments are worth just as much as unregulated justifications; restricted land is worth just as much as unrestricted land; limitations may vanish into thin air; a disclaimer from one party placing responsibility on the other party exonerates the first party’s lies.”
The decision is the latest in a string of legal actions taken against Trump during his campaign for president. These include two federal indictments and two state-level charges. Trump has called all of these actions attempts to stop him from winning re-election.