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POLITICS

Will Donald Trump attend his civil fraud trial in New York?

The civil case into Donald Trump’s financial fraud begins this week in New York City. Will the former president attend?

Update:
The civil case into Donald Trump’s financial fraud begins this week in New York City. Will the former president attend?
MIKE BLAKEREUTERS

The civil trial into Donald Trump’s financial fraud is set to begin Monday, 2 October. This latest development adds to the long list of legal troubles facing the former president, and now his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who have also been named in the suit.

The case, presented by Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General, dates back to investigations carried out by her office into Donald Trump’s financial dealings between 2010 and 2021.

In September 2022, AG James made some of the findings of her office’s investigation public, and in November of last year, dates for the civil trial were set.

Last week, the judge in the case, Arthur Engoron, issued a summary judgment holding that AG James and investigators had presented sufficient evidence that fraud had occurred. The consequences in the case are severe, with the summary judgment mandating that all three Trumps have their business licenses in the state of New York terminated. The judgment dismissed complaints against Ivanka Trump after evidence was presented that she did not form part of the Trump Organization when the fraudulent activities were carried out.

The civil case that will begin Monday covers the six remaining claims made by AG James, with the possible penalties adding up to $250 million.

You may be interested in: How much is Trump’s Mar-a-Lago worth? Valuation of the Florida mansion

When will the trial take place?

The dates for the current civil trial have been set for 2 October to 22 December; however, the case could be wrapped up before the December date. The fate of the former president and his two eldest sons lies with Judge Engoron, not a jury. Although the Trump legal team has made several attempts to have the case dismissed or the trial delayed. All petitions have been rejected, and the Court has sanctioned the attorneys of each of the defendants $7,500 for “engaging in repetitive [and] frivolous motion practice after [... being] expressly warned” by the Court not to do so.

Will Donald Trump attend?

From his social media platform, Truth Social, the former president said that he would appear in court on Monday. “I’m going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,” posted Trump. Like all other legal cases the former presidnet has been involved in, he described the proceedings as a “sham.”

This is not Donald Trump’s first civil suit of the year

Unlike the other three major criminal cases facing Donald Trump, the trial that will begin this week is a civil suit, meaning that he cannot be imprisoned if found liable. This is not the first civil trial for Trump this year. In the spring, the former real estate tycoon was sued by writer E. Jean Carroll who accused him of raping her in the 1990s. Trump was found liable for the rape and defaming the writer’s character and was ordered by the court to pay Carroll $5 million in damages.