The media isn’t bothering to report, at least not accurately, Trump’s concerns about his court-appointed monitor during the civil trial in New York City, which claims he committed fraud in acquiring loans.
Retired federal judge Barbara Jones charges him millions of dollars, only to conclude there was no fraud.
President Trump’s attorney today blasted the latest report filed by the court-appointed monitor overseeing the Trump Organization’s companies in connection with the civil fraud case brought by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James.
“Further oversight is unwarranted and will only unjustly enrich the Monitor as she engages in some ‘Javert’-like quest against the Defendants,” defense attorney Clifford Robert wrote in a court filing on Monday.
Javert is the main protagonist in Les Miserables, who is misguided in his pursuit of justice.
“This is truly a joke,” he wrote.
Barbara Jones reviewed financial statements within the 415 business entities held within the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust and their “disclosure of financial information to third parties.” Both parties, the defense and the state, agreed to nominate Judge Jones for the role. The judge presiding over the civil fraud case, Arthur Engoron, appointed her in November 2022, two months after Ms. James filed her lawsuit, writes Marie Pohl at The Sun.
Appointing her was the problem.
In her lawsuit, AG James accuses Mr. Trump, his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, former executives of the Trump Organization, and several of his companies of business fraud. Ms. James alleges that the Trumps falsified financial statements and exaggerated the value of their properties in a decades-long scheme to gain favorable bank loans and insurance policies.
All defendants deny any wrongdoing, claiming Ms. James’s prosecution is political. The insurers have no complaints and made money. There are no victims.
GUILTY BEFORE EVIDENCE
Before the trial began, the judge found the Trumps liable for the first count, fraud, in a partial summary judgment. This pre-trial ruling also ordered the “dissolution” of the businesses. A higher court, the Appellate Division First Judicial Department, stayed that order, pausing any dissolution until the merits of the appeal were decided.
Six more allegations brought by Ms. James, including conspiracy and insurance fraud, remain to be decided by Judge Engoron. Also at stake is how much the Trumps should pay in damages. In her original lawsuit, filed in September 2022, Ms. James asked for $250 million, but she raised her claim to more than $370 million.
A decision is coming this week. Trump wasn’t allowed to have a jury, not that it would matter in Manhattan.
While both sides awaited the decision, Mr. Trump’s legal team erupted at Judge Jones’s report. It suggests she continue with her lucrative monitoring.
“Mere days before an expected decision,” the defense attorney fumed.
According to Mr. Robert, her January 26 report “has only two obvious purposes: (1) ensure the Monitor continues to receive exorbitant fees (in excess of $2.6 million to date); and (2) fill the gaping hole in the Attorney General’s case, namely, that there is no basis to support continued oversight.”
A defense attorney, Christopher Kise, agreed. In a statement to ABC News, he wrote that “it is shocking that President Trump has been forced to pay millions for a Monitor to prove what he has said from the outset. Namely, there is no financial reporting misconduct, no fraud, and simply no basis for this abusive process to continue.”
SHE FINDS NO FRAUD
Judge Jones alleges, for example, that financial statements of the Trump Organization noted expenses for its property at 40 Wall Street to exceed $1 million, while simultaneously telling a lender these same expenses amounted to $100,000.
“As the Monitor is, of course, well aware, expenses in a projected annual budget will, of course, differ from expenses in the actual final audited financial statements,” Mr. Robert explained to the court. “The actual management fees are based upon rent collected during the year, which cannot possibly be predicted with certainty when the annual budgets are prepared.”
Judge Jones places her most shocking finding into a footnote. It concerns a $48 million dollar loan for Mr. Trump’s Chicago hotel. She writes that she discussed “the springing loan previously disclosed as being between Donald J. Trump individually and Chicago Unit Acquisition (an entity related to the Trump Chicago Tower) with the Trump Organization several times.” According to Judge Jones, “recent discussions” with the Trump Organization “indicated” that the loan “never existed.”
Evidence was provided.
Ms. James requested that the monitor continue her oversight in the coming years. But Mr. Robert writes that the alleged discrepancies the monitor found merely serve as a justification for Judge Jones to keep getting paid enormous sums by Mr. Trump. He states, “The Monitor desperately seeks to justify the continued receipt of millions of dollars in fees going forward.” According to his court filing, Judge Jones has been paid over $2.6 million for her ‘work.’
The court, the defense attorney argues, “must and should end this abusive and costly process.”
On Sunday, Mr. Trump posted on his social media network Truth Social that the Trump Organization “is a great company that has been slandered and maligned by this politically motivated Witch Hunt. It is very unfair, and I call for help from the highest Courts in New York State or the Federal System to intercede.”