In a recent ruling, Judge Arthur Engoron has issued measures to prevent any secret moves that could protect the wealth of former President Donald Trump as he faces civil fraud charges. All defendants in the case, including Trump’s two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, were demanded to disclose their ownership and any third parties’ interests in their controlled businesses and organizations.
The court-appointed monitor, former federal Judge Barbara Jones, has also requested full disclosure of the Trump Organization’s financials from Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer, and Jeffrey McConney, the Trump Organization controller.
This ruling came forth before Trump’s civil trial in Manhattan reached its fourth day.
Engoron’s order was based on the prosecutor’s evidence that Trump exaggerated his assets and the Trump Organization lost its business certification. State Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in damages from Trump and a ban on him and his two sons conducting business in New York.
As the court proceedings progress, it becomes clear why Trump cannot ignore the legal challenges he currently faces, especially with the approaching 2024 election.
Michael McAuliffe, a former federal prosecutor, commented that Engoron’s order is a logical next step that marks the appointment of babysitters to monitor financial activity and potential dissolution of the involved business entities.
Concerns arose following Engoron’s ruling on September 26, with speculation about whether Trump would attempt to transfer ownership of his properties to confidants as a means of retaining control over his businesses. Melania Trump, the former first lady, has been suggested as a possible recipient of such transfers.
However, Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s former chief of staff, expressed doubt that Melania would accept unless granted substantial control or power. Despite the possibility of Trump’s legal team appealing the recent order, the fraud trial is scheduled to proceed.
State Attorney General James dismissed Trump’s comments outside a Manhattan courtroom after the second day of the civil fraud trial, labeling them as baseless and offensive. James accused Trump of inciting violence through remarks that amounted to race-baiting, appealing to the worst aspects of humanity.
She further accused him and his companies of a pattern and practice of fraud, boldly stating that she will not be bullied. Asserting that the Donald Trump show is over, she regarded his remarks as a political stunt organized by the former president.
During a break in the trial, Trump shared his thoughts on the possibility of testifying in his own civil trial. He confirmed that he would take the stand at the appropriate time in the $250 million trial filed against him, his sons, and his companies.
Trump expressed confidence in the trial’s progress, stating that he believed it was going very well so far.