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Trump’s Legal Team Appeals NY Fraud Decision

Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump | Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump and his legal team officially filed an appeal of the verdict against him on Monday in a New York fraud case decided earlier this month.

New York Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump guilty of “persistent and repeated fraud” for allegedly misrepresenting his net worth and the value of assets he possessed to get favorable terms from banks and lending institutions, according to reporting by The Dallas Express. Trump has denied defrauding investors.

“We trust that the Appellate Division will overturn this egregious fine and take the necessary steps to restore the public faith in New York’s legal system,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a statement to CBS News.

The judgment against Trump totals $350 million and could run as high as $454 million with interest. The fine is currently accruing interest of $112,000 per day, according to Fox News reporting.

Trump’s attorneys believe that the civil fraud case amounts to little more than a political attack by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who campaigned on the promise to “get Trump.” In a campaign speech in 2018, James called Trump an “illegitimate president” and vowed to investigate his real estate empire once elected.

Former Trump attorney David Schoen, speaking with CNN, called the comments from James “troubling” and “unethical.”

“Legal cases are supposed to be decided based on the application of established legal principles to the actual evidence,” Trump attorney Christopher Kise told Fox. “During 44 days of trial, not one witness, not one complaint, and not one victim supported the Attorney General’s manufactured claims of ‘fraud.’ Moreover, the evidence established President Trump’s net worth far exceeded what was reported in his financial statements.”

Kise said the court “ignored the law, ignored the facts, and simply signed off on the Attorney General’s manifestly unjust political crusade against the front-running candidate for President of the United States.”

During the trial against Trump, his attorneys accused Engoron of bias and sought help from the Appeals Court at least 10 times, according to NPR. Among the errors Ergoron is accused of making in the judgment is the claim that certain facts were included in the decision, which should not have been allowed due to the statute of limitations.

Trump will be in court again on March 25 in Manhattan, facing charges of falsifying records that relate to money paid to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

In January, a jury found Trump guilty of defaming former journalist E. Jean Carroll and ordered him to pay $83 million in fines, per reporting by Reuters. He was previously found guilty of assaulting Carroll, who was awarded $5 million. Trump is appealing that ruling, which the courts have not taken up at this time.

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