(Patriot.Buzz) – In what could be a huge turn of events for the frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race, former President Donald Trump is currently attending his ongoing civil fraud trial in New York, with closing arguments underway.
This high-stakes legal battle could potentially result in Trump facing a staggering $370 million fine and being prohibited from conducting business activities in New York.
The proceedings are being held in the Manhattan Supreme Court before Justice Arthur Engoron, which will see both the New York Attorney General’s Office and Trump’s defense team presenting their final arguments.
Earlier in the month, state attorneys advocated for an increased fine of $370 million plus interest, a significant hike from the initially proposed $250 million before the trial started in October.
Attorney General Letitia James is pursuing a permanent ban on Trump and his organization from operating in New York, stemming from allegations of asset overvaluation on financial statements provided to lenders and insurers over a ten-year period.
Trump’s defense states that the accounting discrepancies were not intentional fraud but common errors, like mistakenly tripling the size of Trump Tower’s penthouse in documentation given to lenders.
In a unique move, Trump had expressed a desire to personally deliver a portion of his team’s closing statement. However, Justice Engoron swiftly rejected this request. The refusal came after Trump declined to assure that his remarks would strictly adhere to what the court deems as relevant, material facts tied to the trial evidence, as is typically expected in closing arguments.
Justice Engoron has indicated his intention to reach a verdict by the end of the month, concluding a trial marked by Trump’s testimony and the testimonies of his children, Eric, Don Jr., and Ivanka Trump. Although attendance was not mandatory for Trump in this civil case, he was frequently present in the courtroom, observing the proceedings.
The state’s legal team has justified the revised fine amount by citing over $168 million in interest rate benefits Trump allegedly gained improperly, $199 million in profits from property sales, and $2.5 million for employee involvement in these purportedly fraudulent activities.
During the course of the trial, Trump was twice found in violation of a gag order that prohibited publicly discussing Engoron’s court staff. As a result, he was subjected to $15,000 in fines.
The agenda for the trial includes approximately two-and-a-half hours of presentation from Trump’s attorneys in the morning, followed by a similar duration for the Attorney General’s closing statement in the afternoon.