Trump may seek to pause $250 million New York business fraud trial

Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom for the third day of his civil fraud trial in New York, Oct. 4, 2023.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Lawyers for Donald Trump may ask a New York appeals court to pause his ongoing $250 million business fraud trial and stay a judge’s order that could gut the former president’s company, lawyers said Thursday afternoon.

Trump’s attorney Christopher Kise told Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron that as of Thursday he plans to seek a stay of the trial Engoron is presiding over, as well as a stay of the judge’s order related to dissolving Trump corporate entities.

But Kise said he did not want to reveal the scope of the appeal planned for Friday morning, upsetting a lawyer from the New York Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General’s lawyer, Andrew Amer, told Engoron that his office is entitled to 24-hour advance notice of such an appeal.

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Attorney General Letitia James in a lawsuit alleges that Trump, his adult sons, the Trump Organization, and company executives misstated the values of real estate properties to get better loan terms and tax advantages, grossly exaggerating Trump’s net worth as disclosed on financial statements.

The trial is dealing with six remaining claims in that suit.

Engoron last month issued a summary judgment finding that James had proven her top claim, that the defendants engaged in business fraud.

As part of that finding, which Trump’s lawyers are expected to ask an appeals court to block Friday, Engoron canceled business certificates held by the defendants.

Engoron in that ruling also ordered the appointment of an independent receiver to manage the dissolution of the canceled business entities.

On Thursday, the judge issued a series of orders to the defendants which appeared to begin clearing the way for a sell-off of the businesses.

Engoron also ordered the defendants to give an independent monitor for the Trump Organization notice of “the creation of a new entity to hold or acquire the assets” of the to-be-dissolved businesses.

Trump was present in court for the first 2½ days of the trial, which began Monday.

He left in the middle of proceedings Wednesday, after complaining that he was being taken away from his Republican presidential primary campaign because he was “stuck” in court.

Trump was not required to attend the trial on those days. But he may have to testify at some point in the trial, which is set to last until late December.

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