A judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump and his companies committed fraud here in New York.
Now the former president faces a trial to determine how much he owes and penalties. FOX 5’s Robert Moses joins us now from outside Trump Tower in Midtown with the very latest. Good morning, Robert.
Robert Moses (00:19):
Tashanea and Dan, good morning to you. Legal experts call this a potentially devastating ruling. It means that the former president could lose control over his properties here in New York, including, yes, Trump Tower. A scathing ruling. Judge Arthur and Goran ruled that former president Donald Trump, his two adult sons, and others committed fraud to get more favorable loan terms and cheaper insurance. The ruling came in a civil lawsuit brought by Attorney General Letitia James. The judge ordered some of the former president’s business licenses be taken away, which will make it harder or impossible for him to operate in New York State. The former president noted that the judge is a Democrat and called him deranged.
In a brief statement James said, “We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial.” That non-jury trial, scheduled to begin Monday in lower Manhattan will decide, among other things, whether the defendants must pay $250 million in penalties as James has requested. The judge used biting language in his 35 page ruling. “In defendants’ world, rent regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments, restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land, restrictions can evaporate into thin air, a disclaimer by one party casting responsibility on another party exonerates the other party’s lies. That is a fantasy world, not the real world,” he said.
The judge said the former president falsely claimed his triplex at Trump Tower is nearly three times larger than it actually is, resulting in an overvaluation of between 114 million and 207 million dollars. “Good faith measurements could vary by as much as 10 to 20%, not 200%,” the judge wrote. He also noted that former president Trump overvalued Mar-a-Lago by at least 2300%. The former president also claimed that his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County was worth nearly 10 times more than previous appraisals of at or below 30 million dollars. Former president Trump’s lawyer promised to appeal the ruling and called it, “Completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.”
The former president will not be in attendance tonight at the second Republican presidential debate that takes place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Seven of his challengers will be there, however. The debate will air tonight, beginning at nine on Fox Business Network, and will last for two hours. Dan and Tashanea, back to you.
Very interesting. Okay, Robert, thank you very much.