• May 22, 2024

Trump Gets Big Win as Appeals Court Reduces $464M Bond Obligation to $175M

(Brett Rowland, The Center Square) The partisan prosecutor dubbed “Peekaboo” by former President Donald Trump will likely lose out on her yearslong dream of squatting in the penthouse of Trump Tower—even as the presumptive GOP nominee for president in 2024 continues to live rent-free inside New York Attorney General Letitia James’s head.

A New York appeals court on Monday gave Trump a lifeline in his New York civil case, allowing him to post a much lower bond while he appeals the verdict.

In an order, the five-judge state appeals court panel said it would give the Trump Organization and top executives 10 days to post a $175 million bond.

Trump was expected to come up with $464 million or a bond for that amount Monday to appeal a ruling by Superior Court Judge Arthur Engoron, the culmination of a yearslong lawfare attack waged by James—who ran in 2018 on the promise that she would “get Trump” and filed the suit shortly before her reelection in September 2022.

Engoron claimed that Trump, his company and top executives—including his eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump—deceived banks and insurers by inflating the value of his family’s wealth on financial statements used to secure loans.

Trump said Monday that he planned to comply with the order.

“We will abide by the decision of the Appellate Division, and post either a bond, equivalent securities, or cash,” he posted on Truth Social. “This also shows how ridiculous and outrageous Engoron’s original decision was at $450 Million.”

Trump’s attorneys previously said he couldn’t get a bond for the full amount and asked to put up a $100 million bond instead.

James wanted Trump to have to put up the full amount and had said she would seek “judgment enforcement mechanisms in court” if Trump couldn’t come up with the money—essentially, following through on her longstanding campaign promise to seize his private property.

Critics sounded the alarm on the verdict, noting that the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—which also, per the Supreme Court, applied at the state level—prohibited excessive fines.

Meanwhile, others noted that it would have a chilling effect on New York businesses, fearful that if the state could arbitrarily and capriciously use selective enforcement of the law to target Trump for political purposes, there would be nothing to stop James from doing the same to any other business that ran afoul of her whimsy.

Indeed, one Irish social club recently argued that it had encountered a parallel situation, according to New York Post columnist Miranda Devine.

The American Irish Historical Society recently issued a subpoena to James in a lawsuit arguing that she had “actively aided and abetted in the art of the steal” in an effort to help the society defraud a lender after using the Fifth Avenue building as collateral.

“This organization fraudulently inflated the value of their building to induce my client into giving them a mortgage which Tish James is now trying to help these fraudsters avoid having to repay,” said Tim Parlatore, the lawyer for plaintiff James Doyle.

“The theory of fraud Tish James accused the Trump Organization of engaging in is identical to the fraud she is aiding and abetting here,” he added.

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.


The Daily Allegiant