Trump civil fraud trial continues in New York
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- This week during a trial for a civil fraud case against Donald Trump, the judge overseeing the trial considers penalties after issues a summary judgment concluding Trump and his organization inflated their net worth and engaged in business fraud over a series of years.
The lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General last year asks for several penalties including paying $250 million and permanently barring Trump from working as a businessman in the state of New York.
“This case was brought simply because it was a case where individuals have engaged in a pattern and practice of fraud. And I will not sit idly by and allow anyone to subvert the law,” said New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
The former President denies any wrongdoing.
“This trial is a total witch hunt and I should be entitled to a jury like everybody else is entitled to a jury," Trump said.
This case is conducted through a bench trial, which means it is a trial by a judge not a jury.
Attorney General James issued a note to the court a few months ago requesting a bench trial. There is no record of Trump's lawyers asking for a jury.
The trial officially started Monday Oct. 3 and will likely continue on for the next couple of months while the judge determines the penalties.
One of the penalties, judicial dissolution, the judge has already granted. This penalty, also known as the "corporate death penalty," means Trump, his associates, and his two older sons can no longer operate their business real estate properties under New York State law.
Some legal experts said this is extremely rare.
“That is an extraordinary remedy that courts in New York are extremely reluctant to grant except in the most extreme cases, so that’s what really jumped out of the ruling last week,” said Celia Bigoness, Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School.