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Trump plans to post $100 million bond, asks for stay of ‘punitive’ $464M judgment in civil fraud case

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(WASHINGTON) — Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are seeking to pause the enforcement of the penalties in his civil fraud trial, telling the court that he intends to post a bond of only $100 million — well short of the $464 million judgement ordered by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.

Engoron’s judgment ordered Trump to pay a $355 million fine, plus interest, and blocked him from running any New York-based company, including his own, for three years.

In a court filing Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers argued that the penalties are “unprecedented and punitive.”

“The exorbitant and punitive amount of the Judgment coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions would make it impossible to secure and post a complete bond,” defense lawyers wrote in the filing. “Appellants nonetheless plan to secure and post a bond in the amount of $100 million.”

In the filing, Trump’s lawyers said that posting a bond to cover the entire judgment would not only be impossible but also unnecessary given the preexisting oversight provided by the Trump Organization’s independent monitor. According to the filing, the current oversight coupled with the $100 million bond ensures that New York Attorney General Letitia James could collect the judgment if needed.

“Those assets are not going anywhere, nor could they given the oversight of the Monitor and the practical realities of the existence of the very public Judgment,” the filing said.

In their motion for a stay, defense attorneys Clifford Robert and Alina Habba called Engoron’s order “draconian” and said the punishments would unfairly impede Trump’s family real estate business.

“The extraordinary relief Supreme Court has granted is punitive, patently improper, unsupported by the evidence, and/or unavailable under the Executive Law, and is premised upon claims this Court ruled are time-barred,” the motion said.

The filing cited “the Attorney General’s public threats that she will seize Appellants’ real property forthwith to satisfy the Judgment,” a reference to remarks New York Attorney General Letitia James made during an interview with ABC News.

“If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets,” James told ABC News last week.

“Supreme Court’s staggering $450 million judgment not only ignores this Court’s controlling decision in this very case, but also violates the Excessive Fines and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. and New York Constitutions,” the defense motion said.

“This untenable Judgment therefore threatens the entire New York business community, as it will render profitable, arms-length transactions between sophisticated commercial parties meaningless and subject to arbitrary, post hoc review by the Attorney General and the courts,” the motion argued.

Engoron, in his ruling earlier this month, found Trump, his adult sons, and two former Trump Organization executives liable for a decade of fraudulent business activity in which they used “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate Trump’s net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. He ordering the defendants to pay a total of $464 million in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest.

Trump’s attorneys requested the stay pending their appeal of Engoron’s ruling, which they filed Monday.

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