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Former President Donald Trump raged on Truth Social ahead of his trial Monday in New York Attorney General Letitia James' fraud lawsuit.
Trump and James are both expected to be in court in Manhattan on Monday, where the former president will face allegations that he, his adult sons and their family business inflated his wealth by billions to secure favorable terms from banks. Trump, who has denied the allegations, is eventually expected to be called to testify, according to The New York Times.
New York Judge Arthur Engoron last week ruled that Trump had persistently committed fraud, finding that no trial was necessary to determine whether the allegation is true. The ruling is set to strip the Trumps of control over their New York properties, which "could crush much of the business known as the Trump Organization," the Times added.
"The trial is a bench trial—the case will be decided by the judge, not a jury," former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance explained. "Judge Engoron is a distinguished jurist who has spent 2 decades on the bench & whose increasing frustration with Trump's efforts to delay the proceedings was apparent last week."
James is asking Engoron to fine Trump as much as $250 million and permanently ban him from operating any businesses in New York. The trial will determine how much Trump and his sons exaggerated their wealth and what the punishment will be.
"Those details determine what Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization will be prohibited from doing, as well as the size of any civil penalty," Fordham Law Prof. Howard Erichson told the Times.
The witness list suggests the trial could last months, according to the outlet. James' witness list includes more than 50 people, including former Trump Organization financial chief Allen Weisselberg, who is also a defendant and pleaded guilty in a separate case brought by the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Trump on Truth Social called James "corrupt and racist" over the lawsuit before lashing out at Engoron, calling him a "Trump Hating Judge who is who is unfair, unhinged, and vicious in his PURSUIT of me."
Engoron's ruling last week cited multiple examples of Trump overstating the value of his assets. In one case, Engoron wrote, Trump's financial statements valued his Mar-a-Lago club at between $427 million to $612 million even though the Palm Beach County assessor appraised the market value of the property at $18 million to $27.6 million.
"He values Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, at 18 Million Dollars, when it is worth 50 to 100 times that amount," Trump wrote shortly before midnight. "His valuations are FRAUDULENT in pursuit of Election Interference, and worse. THIS WHOLE CASE IS A SHAM!!!"
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Trump went on to claim that Engoron "refuses to accept our big win" from an appeals court in June, which raised the prospect that some of the allegations in the lawsuit were too old to try. But the court on Thursday rejected Trump's attempt to dodge the charges and allowed the case to proceed to trial.
"Judge Engoron's Valuation of Mar-a-Lago, the most spectacular property in Palm Beach, Florida, IS FRAUDULENT!" Trump continued to fume shortly before 1 am. "He states a value of 18 Million Dollars, knowing full well that it is worth, perhaps, 50 to 100 times that amount. Engoron is working diligently to misrepresent me, and my net worth, which is substantially MORE than is shown on my fully 'disclaimed' Financial Statements. I have not even included my most valuable asset - BRAND!"
Trump demanded that Engoron "resign" and "be sanctioned by the Courts for his abuse of power, and his intentional and criminal interference with the Presidential Election of 2024, of which I am leading all candidates, both Republican & Democrat, by significant margins."
"Likewise, Letitia James should resign for purposeful and criminal Election Interference," he added. "She is fully aware that Mar-a-Lago, and other assets, are worth much more than what she is claiming. Both of these Democrat Operatives are a disgrace to New York, and to the United States of America!"