(Corrects spelling errors)
New York, United States, Sept 22 (EFE).- Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the civil fraud case against former President Donald Trump, his company and several of his children and associates in New York, said Friday that he will make a decision on granting summary judgment next Tuesday.
Both sides are seeking summary judgments with opposing outcomes.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office argues that it has ” indisputable” evidence to hold Trump responsible for one of the main crimes he is accused of without the need for a trial.
On the other side, Trump’s lawyers are asking that all seven complaints be dismissed, arguing that the Attorney General’s office has “no valid authority” to sue, that it filed its complaint too late, and that it has “failed to demonstrate even theoretical harm to anyone, public or private.”
Last week, Trump’s legal team filed a lawsuit against Judge Engoron for allegedly abusing his authority. A state appeals court is expected to rule Monday on whether the lawsuit can proceed.
The civil trial, which would be the first in a long series of cases Trump faces, is scheduled for Oct. 2, but has been temporarily halted while that appellate panel considers the complaint against Engoron.
The fraud case against Trump was filed in late 2022 by the New York District Attorney’s Office, accusing Trump, his company (the Trump Organization), his eldest sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and several associates of inflating their assets by as much as $2.2 billion in a single year to obtain tax and credit benefits.
The prosecutor is asking that the defendants pay a fine of $250 million in financial benefits and also that their ability to conduct business in New York be restricted, which would severely impact their income.
“DECEPTIVE PRACTICES” OR ” UNEDUCATED” AUTHORITIES
Friday’s hearing in New York Supreme Court was attended by attorneys from both sides but with neither Trump nor prosecutor James present. Each presented their respective arguments over the course of hours, fleshing out what would be the content of the potential trial.
Deputy prosecutor Andrew Amer said the goal was for the judge to grant a summary judgment in their favor on the main crime in the case, “persistent and repeated” fraud against all defendants, and to hold a simplified trial for the other six crimes in the case.
He supported his arguments with financial documents that the prosecution provided to the court, contrasting the value of the assets presented by the Trump Organization, such as the Mar-a-Lago mansion, with the appraised or market value, which showed excesses of hundreds of millions of dollars year after year.
The defendants, the judge said, used “deceptive practices” that sought favorable terms by undervaluing other assets, such as golf courses.
Judge Engoron, who asked numerous specific questions about the allegations throughout the day, wanted it on the record that, according to the prosecution’s findings, Trump’s company was aware of the appraisals and chose not to disclose them.
For their part, Trump’s lawyers argued that the prosecution does not have a case, pointing out that the valuations of assets that are not used do not have to be disclosed, that the valuations are very subjective and that the tycoon “saw value where others did not see it”.
Faced with these arguments, the judge stood up and, referring to the documents under review, angrily declared that “you can not make false statements and use them in business,” stressing that it is prohibited and precisely that is the accusation of the authorities.
In general, Trump’s lawyer, Christopher Kise, summarized the defense by saying that the former president is an expert in real estate and investments, while the authorities are “uneducated” and willfully blind in this regard.EFE