Trump’s Lawyer Seeks to Challenge $355 Million Civil Fraud Verdict with Counter-Judgment Proposal

Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

In a recent development in the legal proceedings against former President Donald Trump, his attorney, Clifford Robert, made a formal request for the opportunity to submit a “counter-judgment” in the wake of a $355 million civil fraud verdict. The request was articulated in a letter to Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York City Civil Court, expressing discontent with a significant decision that not only imposed a hefty financial penalty on Trump but also prohibited him from engaging in business activities within the state for three years.

Robert’s letter to Justice Engoron conveyed a sense of injustice, arguing that Trump was unjustly denied the opportunity to contest the ruling before it was officially recorded. He emphasized that such decisions, which involve complex remedies, typically allow for the opposing party to be notified, thereby enabling both sides to either concur on a draft judgment or present alternative proposals for the court’s consideration.

The letter from Robert sought an arrangement from the court to establish a future date for discussing the Proposed Judgment, which would provide Trump’s defense team adequate time to draft and submit their proposed counter-judgment. This move signifies a strategic attempt to challenge and potentially mitigate the implications of the court’s decision.

“You and your co-counsel have been questioning my impartiality since the early days of this case, presumably because I sometimes rule against your clients,” Engoron wrote.

Notably, the tone of Robert’s letter, marked by a courteous “respectfully,” marks a departure from a previous communication sent to Justice Engoron, which was filled with vehement criticisms of the judge’s conduct, described as “unprecedented, inappropriate, and troubling.” This shift in tone reflects a more measured approach in dealing with the court following a strongly worded rebuke from Engoron, who, in a responding letter, condemned Robert’s accusations as “completely out of bounds” and addressed the ongoing questioning of his impartiality by Trump’s legal team.

Justice Engoron’s firm stance came to the forefront when he issued a ruling against Trump, his two sons, and former CFO Allen Weisselberg, holding them accountable for engaging in fraudulent practices that involved the overvaluation of assets belonging to the Trump Organization, misleading investors.

In the aftermath of this ruling, Trump has publicly denounced the decision and signaled his intention to file an appeal. However, his ability to maneuver financially is significantly restricted due to the oversight of a court-appointed monitor overseeing his business transactions and the pressing need to secure sufficient funds or a bond to comply with the court’s directives.

Should Trump’s appeal not result in a favorable outcome, he will be obligated to cover both the pre-judgment and post-judgment interest amounts, as outlined by Will Thomas, a business law professor at the University of Michigan. Thomas highlighted the substantial financial burden that Trump faces, underscoring the severe financial implications of the court’s ruling in an interview with ABC News.

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