In the aftermath of Tuesday’s bombshell ruling holding Donald Trump liable for fraud, the Trump Organization is scrambling to comprehend the implications for the future of the business empire bearing the former president’s name, according to statements made by his legal team.
During a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys expressed uncertainty about the extent of the ruling’s applicability to different facets of the company. They are actively working to discern what elements may need dissolution to align with the unexpected decision by Judge Arthur Engoron.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office also voiced the need for additional time to thoroughly review the implications of the court order. The fraud case, which saw Trump and his adult sons held liable for fraud and the cancellation of the Trump Organization’s business certification, underwent significant changes according to Judge Engoron.
In response to the uncertainty surrounding the appointment of a receiver to oversee the dissolution of Trump’s corporate entities, Engoron extended the timeline from the original 10 days to 30 days to formulate a plan.
Despite Tuesday’s ruling addressing some of James’ claims, the trial is set to proceed on Monday, as per the judge’s directive.
Major Questions and Uncertainties
Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, emphasized the newfound uncertainty injected into the impending trial. He raised questions about the scope of the decision and its potential ramifications for the sprawling business empire. Kise expressed a desire for clarification on the trial’s objectives and issues, underscoring the need for communication with the attorney general.
Kise further highlighted the complexity of Trump’s business entities, stating that they are unsure which specific entities within the Trump Organization fall under Engoron’s ruling. The attorney emphasized the need for more time with the court-appointed monitor to navigate this complexity.
Receivership’s Unusual Role
Judge Engoron’s decision to appoint a receiver to manage the dissolution of corporate entities is rare outside cases involving notable business fraud, according to legal expert Simon Miller. Both sides will propose names from a court-approved list, and the judge will decide the appointed receiver.
Questions persist about how the receiver will handle the dissolution of properties, potential impacts on out-of-state properties like Mar-a-Lago, and the possibility of transferring New York-based assets to an out-of-state entity.
Trial Focus and Witnesses
Engoron specified that the trial would determine the extent of Trump’s liability and the amount of disgorgement the company must pay, with James’ lawsuit seeking $250 million. The trial won’t require proof of false financial statements but offers an opportunity to prove other specific claims for a larger penalty.
The trial boasts a substantial witness list of 188 individuals, with 130 on the attorney general’s list. Questions arose about potential objections to witnesses and the lack of a witness list from the defense team.
Trump Team’s Appeal Plans
In response to the ruling, Trump’s legal team signaled an immediate intent to appeal. They decried the decision as outrageous and asserted their intention to explore all available appellate remedies to rectify what they perceive as a miscarriage of justice.
As the legal battle unfolds, the Trump Organization faces a myriad of challenges and uncertainties, with the fallout of the fraud liability ruling shaping the trajectory of the former president’s business empire.