Trump Can’t Post Bond in Fraud Case Due to “Insurmountable Difficulties” says Lawyer

Patrick Colwell
Patrick Colwell
Pat is a traveling freelance journalist and photographer, and holds a bachelor's degree with a focus in conflict investigation. With years of expertise in OSINT, geolocation, and data analysis, he is also the founder of the Our Wars Today brand.

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What Happened?

Lawyers for former president Donald Trump said on Monday in a New York appellate court that “obtaining an appeal bond in the full amount” of the civil fraud judgment case totaling $464 million “is not possible under the circumstances presented.” Additionally, they asked the intermediate appeals court to overturn a ruling made previously wherein Trump would have to post a full bond while he appeals; otherwise, enforcement of the owed amount would be seized through his assets, as outlined in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit. Trump is appealing a ruling made in February that stated that he, his company, his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., and other top executives carried out schemes for years intending to deceive banks and insurers by inflating Donald Trump’s recorded wealth within financial statements, which were then also used to secure loans and make business deals.

Case Details:

Trump alone owes $456.8 million; with his sons and other co-defendants in total, they owe $467.3 million with interest. To obtain a bond, Trump’s lawyers said they needed to post collateral equal to $557 million, or 120% of the judgment. Dennis Fan, Senior Assistant Solicitor General, wrote in the court filing last week that the bond was necessary partially because Trump’s lawyers haven’t shown Trump’s liquid assets, which may fluctuate, can satisfy the full amount of the judgment. The interest on the owed amount is increasing by around $112,000 a day.

Following the ruling in February by Judge Arthur Engoron, Trump was barred from leading any New York company for the next three years, his sons were barred for two years, and his company, the Trump Organization, was given strict limitations on its ability to do business. Alan Garten, general counsel to the Trump Organization, wrote in an affirmation that “Defendants have faced what have proven to be insurmountable difficulties in obtaining an appeal bond for the full $464 million” and that while Trump is “financially stable” with “substantial assets,” the size of the bond would require him to use real estate as collateral for the bond. Unlike in the case of the E. Jean Carrol defamation case, where a jury found Trump liable for $18.3 million in compensation and emotional harm and $65 million in punitive damages, and Trump was able to secure a bond of $91.6 million from global insurance company Chubb during appeals, it appears there are few to no companies willing to lend him the bond amount for this amount.

Trump’s lawyers are asking for a stay on the enforcement of the judgment while he appeals the decision, previously offering a $100 million bond, which was rejected after an emergency hearing on Feb. 28th by Judge Anil Singh. While rejecting the reduced bond amount, Singh enacted some of Trump’s requests, including pausing a three-year ban on him seeking loans from banks in New York. His lawyers have said that asset sales to acquire the funds needed would result in massive losses due to cut-rate deals.

Going Forward:

Trump’s plans to put his social media company, Trump Media and Tech Group, which runs Truth Social, his alternative to Twitter/X, on the stock market could potentially grant him the wealth he needs to pay off his bond-owed amount. While dependent on the share price when it goes online, it could be evaluated in the billions, and Trump owns 58% of all shares. Additionally, the selling off of existing assets or further collection of money through donations or merchandise sales could provide a supplemental amount, but it’s unclear whether this avenue will be taken. Due to the quantity of cases and felony counts he faces across two states and two districts, whether winning or losing, he will incur further expenses. As election season begins and Trump enters as the Republican candidate in the race, the development of some of the cases will likely continue through the campaign to the November 2024 elections.