George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley called demands from Democratic Attorney General Letitia James of New York in a civil fraud suit against former President Donald Trump “breathtaking.”
Deutsche Bank executives testified Tuesday and Wednesday that the bank was “whale hunting” and thought that Trump could introduce them to other wealthy clients and that an adjustment of his net worth from $4.2 billion to $2.4 billion was not an issue when granting a loan for a Miami-area golf course. One document introduced at the trial showed revenue from doing business with Trump’s companies climbed to over $6 million in 2013 from $13,000 in 2011, The Hill reported.
“You’ve got this New York law that allows James to proceed against Trump even though no one lost any money, even though banks didn’t complain, and on that basis she’s asking for a nuclear option,” Turley told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow. “She is basically trying to end the role of the corporation of New York, taking away certificates and imposing a quarter of a billion dollars in damages for money that was not lost.”
James sued Trump in September 2022, alleging he overstated the value of real estate holdings in order to obtain loans, and is seeking to force Trump to pay $250 million and to bar him and his children from being officers in any business in New York.
“So these guys get on the stand and they said, look, you know, estimates differ. You don’t rely on those estimates,” Turley continued. “You rely on your own estimates, but they also said we made money here and then we tried to get more loans with the Trumps. They described Trump as being a whale client, someone you really want and the disconnect of that testimony with what James is seeking is really breathtaking.”
Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump was liable for fraud Sept. 26, ordering that several business licenses Trump held were to be rescinded, but an appeals court paused the ruling. Real-estate experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Engoron’s ruling greatly undervalued Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate owned by Trump, which some considered to be worth more than $250,000,000.
“Look, there does appear to me to be estimation problems from the Trump side, but I can’t find any case like this,” Turley said. “Justice is about consistency and proportionality. I can’t even find a case that comes close to what James is trying to do here.”
James did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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