Former President Donald Trump is currently engaged in an ongoing civil fraud trial in New York City, even as the judge presiding over the case had already, for all intents and purposes, ruled before the trial even began that Trump is guilty and liable to be punished by the state.
Trump's attorneys on Wednesday filed an appeal against that preemptive ruling from the judge and seek to have it overturned, according to The Hill.
At stake here is nothing less than Trump's entire New York-based business and real estate empire, including the certificates necessary to conduct business as well as the very ownership of certain assets and properties and the revenue that is derived from them.
On Sept. 26, Democratic New York Justice Arthur Engoron issued a preemptive summary judgment ahead of a trial that clearly sided with Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James against the former Republican President Trump.
He appeared to agree with James' dubious arguments that Trump, his adult sons, the Trump Organization, and other associates had routinely engaged in fraudulent efforts to overvalue certain assets and properties in order to obtain more favorable terms on bank loans and insurance coverage.
As such, with Engoron having already deemed Trump guilty and liable for fraud, the only real purpose of the currently ongoing trial is to settle other claims raised by the AG and determine the breadth and severity of the punishment handed down -- which will likely include up to $250 million in damages, revocation of all business certificates, and possibly even placing Trump's assets and properties into a state-controlled receivership.
However, in the notice of appeal filed Wednesday, which included the judge's ruling as an attached appendix, Trump's attorneys made it clear that they sought to challenge "each and every part" of Engoron's order.
Reuters reported that Trump's appeal calls for the intervention of New York's mid-level Appellate Division to overrule Judge Engoron's pre-trial determination that there was "conclusive evidence" to support the claims of AG James that former President Trump and his family business engaged in "staggering fraud" over the course of many years.
Trump, of course, has vehemently denied any such wrongdoing and has sharply criticized the judge as "deranged" and corruptly biased against him, with similar critiques leveled against James for basing the entirety of her singularly focused prosecutorial effort against him as being itself based on "fraudulent" misinformation about the actual values of his assets and properties.
He has further lambasted the whole sordid affair as yet another in a long line of "witch hunts" that, given his standing as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2024, constitute nothing less than "election interference" that is clearly intended to harm his chances at winning a second term in office.
Meanwhile, despite the filed appeal, Yahoo News reported Thursday that the civil fraud trial continues and Judge Engoron issued another order that would force former President Trump and the Trump Organization to fully comply with his prior order for them to essentially dissolve any and all business interests linked to New York state.
The order would also require Trump, his adult sons, and other Trump Organization executives to notify the court of any and all new businesses created or the transfer of any assets, and it is not clear if that requirement is limited to just New York or is applicable worldwide.
Per the outlet, the purpose of that order is "to preempt Trump from making secret transactions to skirt the court’s punishment for being found liable for years of financial fraud."
This is nothing short of an absolute travesty of injustice that should be furiously opposed by all, regardless of one's personal view of the former president, and, hopefully, the appeals court will move quickly to vacate this judge's terribly biased rulings that appear to be based on little more than a shared hatred of Trump with the equally biased attorney general, both of whom Trump has insisted should be "disbarred."