On Thursday, a New York appeals court declined to postpone the civil fraud trial of Donald Trump, scheduled for October 2, despite accusations from the former U.S. president that the trial judge had wrongly refused to dismiss most of the case.
The Appellate Division, a mid-tier appeals court in Manhattan, comprised of a five-judge panel, dismissed Trump’s request to postpone the trial.
This panel also overturned a September 14 order from Justice David Friedman that suspended the trial, pending consideration of Trump’s motion. Friedman was a member of Thursday’s panel.
This decision was made two days post the ruling by state court Justice Arthur Engoron, stating that Trump and his family enterprise consistently and deceptively inflated the value of his assets and net worth to secure favorable conditions on loans and insurance.
In September 2022, state Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Trump, alleging that he, his adult sons, the Trump Organization, and others committed “staggering fraud” in their valuation of properties.
James is seeking a minimum of $250 million in fines, seeking prohibitions against Trump and his sons, Donald Jr and Eric, from managing businesses in New York, along with a five-year commercial real estate ban against Trump and the Trump Organization.
Representatives for Trump and other accused parties were not promptly available to comment. No immediate remark was provided by James’ office.
This lawsuit is distinct from the four criminal charges faced by Trump, which include attempts to reverse the 2020 presidential election results.
Trump has denied all accusations and portrayed the legal actions as a politically charged vendetta by the Democrats, with James being a member of the Democratic party, as he contemplates a political comeback.
Despite ongoing legal battles, Trump remains a predominant contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Trump filed a lawsuit against Engoron on September 14, alleging him of overlooking a June decree from the appeals court, which, according to Trump, mandated the dismantling of James’ lawsuit due to the expiry of numerous claims.
Engoron, in his Tuesday verdict, displayed his conviction that the ruling from the appeals court barely impacted James’ case.
He commented that the defendants are delusional, fabricating valuations for properties like Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and his Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan.
Engoron identified definitive proof of Trump exaggerating his wealth by around $2.2 billion. Additionally, he directed the revocation of certificates allowing the operation of some of Trump’s businesses.
This might compel Trump to relinquish control of assets including Trump Tower in Manhattan, a Wall Street office building, golf courses, and his family home in Westchester County, New York, to a receiver.
Late Wednesday, the lists of prospective witnesses, possibly exceeding 100, were revealed by the attorney general’s office and defense attorneys.
Both lists feature Donald Trump and his adult sons, along with former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg and controller Jeffrey McConney.
Also included in the attorney general’s list are Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who has dissociated from his previous employer, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who was excluded as a defendant by the appeals court in June.