Letitia James’ Years-Long Fulfilled Promise to Hold Donald Trump Accountable Is a Victory Against the Privilege He Thought He Had to Skirt the Law

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New York Attorney General Letitia James has pledged since her appointment in 2018 that she would utilize her legal power as a check to hold former President Donald Trump accountable for any actions that would undermine the law. Now, that promise is bearing fruit.

A New York Supreme Court justice just ruled that Donald Trump and his adult sons committed fraud after it was discovered that he inflated the value of several of his assets and properties to suit his business needs.

A judge ruled that former President Donald Trump (left) committed fraud by inflating the net worth of several of his assets as part of the civil case brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James (right). (Photos: Getty Images)
A judge ruled that former President Donald Trump (left) committed fraud by inflating the net worth of several of his assets as part of the civil case brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James (right). (Photos: Getty Images)

This is exactly what James sued Trump, three of his adult children, and the global real estate company that carries his namesake for a year ago. She accused them of routinely inflating the value of assets like skyscrapers, golf courses, and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. This suit seeks $250 million in financial penalties, plus strict limitations on the Trump Organization and its executives conducting any business in New York, the Washington Post reports.

Now that a judge has ruled that Trump and his company are liable for defrauding banks and insurers, his limited liability companies face liquidation, and the Trump Organization is set to lose its certificate that allows it to operate in New York.


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“Today, a judge ruled in our favor and found that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in years of financial fraud,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement Tuesday night. “We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial.”

Reuters reports that James filed “conclusive evidence” that Trump had overstated his net worth by $812 million and $2.2 billion. Justice Arthur Engoron said Trump consistently overvalued his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, his penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s Trump Tower, and various office buildings and golf courses.

“A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud,” Engoron wrote.

Trump’s lawyer vehemently denounced the ruling.

“Today’s outrageous decision is completely disconnected from the facts and governing law,” Christopher Kise said in a statement. “President Trump and his family will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice.”

Trump, in typical fashion, took to his social platform TruthSocial, calling the accusations that he committed fraud “ridiculous and untrue” and adding that Engoron is “DERANGED.”

According to the Associated Press, the Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud last year for helping company executives skirt taxes on bonuses like apartments and cars. The company had to pay out $1.6 million, and Trump’s longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, served five months in jail.

For James, this years-in-the-making effort has come full circle based on a pledge she first made in 2018 when she was elected as the first Black woman state attorney general for New York. She designated Trump, who was still president at the time, as someone “we must keep in check by the long arm of the law.”

“We must do our job to ensure that the man currently occupying the Oval Office is held accountable to any and everything he has done to compromise our values and the trust in the safety of our state and our union,” James stated in remarks after celebrating her win.

James has sued Trump in the past for misusing funds from his charitable foundation to further his political and business interests. The Trump Foundation was shut down as a result, and Trump was ordered to give $2 million to charity.

As James makes headway in this current lawsuit against Trump, the former president has his hands full in legal dealings on both a state and federal level. He faces four criminal indictments, two in Georgia and Washington D.C. that allege he sought to overturn the 2020 election, one in Florida that charged him with mishandling classified documents, and another in Manhattan related to some falsified business records that covered up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Read the original story at Atlanta Black Star.