Former President Donald J. Trump (Photo by Tia Dufour)

Jonathan Turley Calls New York Appeals Court Decision Is A ‘Mixed Victory’ For Trump

Former President Donald J. Trump (Photo by Tia Dufour)
Former President Donald J. Trump (Photo by Tia Dufour) By Harold Hutchison, DCNF.

A New York appeals court judge stayed some provisions of a judgment against former President Donald Trump Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

Judge Anil Singh ruled that Trump must post the full amount of a surety bond to cover a $454 million judgment but allowed Trump to seek loans to secure the amount needed, CBS News reported.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley called the ruling “a mixed victory” for the former president.

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“It still leaves him with a rather onerous burden, but the decision of the lower court, in my view, was unfair,” Turley told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. “The judge imposed an unprecedented penalty under this law for this type of conduct. In fact, none of us have seen this law applied in this way. And by doing so, you not only hit Trump with this massive award, but required Trump to put the money up front under a separate rule, which requires you to deposit money or to get a bond. And then Trump was hit with a 30-day deadline to do so, and then on top of that, he was unable to do business with some of the New York banks. Most of us felt that that was really beyond the pale.”

“At some point, it becomes confiscatory just in order to bring an appeal,” Turley said. “If you’re contesting an order taking your home, you shouldn’t have to sell your home to appeal that order. But people like Attorney General James were talking about precisely that. She was naming properties that she might seize or he might sell just to get the court of appeals to look at this opinion. So, it is a mixed victory for Trump, but it does give him some more options he didn’t have before.”

James sued Trump in September 2022, alleging he overstated the value of real estate holdings in order to obtain loans after promising to investigate Trump during her 2018 campaign for attorney general. Judge Arthur Engoron ruled Feb. 16 that Trump was to pay $354 million and banned him from being an officer or director for any company or organization based in New York for three years following a civil trial.

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Engoron previously ruled that Trump was liable for fraud Sept. 26, ordering that several business licenses Trump held were to be revoked and that his businesses were to be shut down, but an appeals court stayed Engoron’s ruling on Oct. 6.

“I do think that he has very good grounds here to say that this was an excessive award and also the conditions for appeal are beginning to shock the conscience, at least they should,” Turley said. “So, I think he can push further. He’s unlikely to succeed with the court of appeals.”

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