Home News Trump’s NYC hush money, fraud cases could reach boiling point Monday

Trump’s NYC hush money, fraud cases could reach boiling point Monday

Donald Trump’s New York legal troubles are expected to reach a boiling point Monday in Manhattan, where he’s poised to make a last-ditch attempt to dodge legal jeopardy in the Stormy Daniels hush money saga — and faces the end of a grace period in his separate civil fraud case to put up a bond of almost half a billion dollars.

The former president and Republican frontrunner in this year’s election is expected to return to Judge Juan Merchan’s 15th-floor courtroom at Manhattan Supreme Court with his lawyers in the hush money case, a source familiar with his plans told the Daily News, with jury selection delayed over a blizzard of paperwork tied to star witness Michael Cohen.

Trump’s lawyers say thousands of documents turned over by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York tied to his ex-fixer’s years-old and highly publicized conviction contain exculpatory evidence the Manhattan district attorney’s office was required to obtain and provide him by law.

Prosecutors contend a minuscule percentage of the paperwork is relevant, that the tranche handed over in response to an eleventh-hour subpoena by Trump mainly represents duplicates of what they gave him last year and that his outrage is just intended to delay the case.

Former President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen leaves Trump's civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 24, 2023 in New York City.(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Michael Cohen leaves Trump’s civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court in October 2023.(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In an order earlier last week, Judge Merchan adjourned the trial — expected to be Trump’s first of four — until at least mid-April and said he’d set a new date “if necessary” after resolving the dispute over the documents.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in his Manhattan criminal case. The charges allege that he hid a series of checks to Cohen in 2017 to disguise that they came as reimbursement for a payoff to Daniels in a broader scheme to secure his 2016 presidential victory. Cohen in 2018 pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and other crimes in a federal case and served three years in custody. The feds implicated then-President Trump but declined to press charges under a Justice Department policy against prosecuting a sitting president.

Meanwhile, the period of grace for Trump to post a security deposit on the more than $454 million in fines he was ordered to pay last month ends around Monday. If he fails to cough up the cash, he can keep on appealing. But state Attorney General Tish James’ office would be able to start going after prized assets in his portfolio while the process plays out. It’s not clear what the AG’s intentions are.

Lawyers for Trump have asked a mid-level appeals court to pause Judge Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 16 ruling from taking effect while he fights it, having previously failed to get permission to post less than a quarter of the amount he owes. Trump’s defense team said he’d been turned down by 30 lenders who all declined to consider his namesake properties as collateral. 

People walk by 40 Wall Street, a Trump-owned building in downtown Manhattan on March 19, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
People walk by 40 Wall St., a Trump-owned building in lower Manhattan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Engoron’s ruling determined Trump, his former finance execs Allen Weisselberg and Jeff McConney and sons Eric and Don Jr. intentionally committed fraud in New York’s real estate market for years by inflating his net worth by up to $3.6 billion annually to secure more favorable terms in business deals. 

Trump, 77, ramped up his online attacks against New York officials on Friday, claiming he had “almost” $500 million in cash days after his attorneys said he couldn’t post a bond for less than that amount, describing the outcome of his almost three-month civil fraud trial as “COMMUNISM” and bashing Engoron and James.

“Arthur Engoron is a Rogue Judge who was intimidated by the big, nasty, and ugly mouth of Leticia James, considered by many to be the WORST Attorney General in the U.S. She is a Low IQ individual who campaigned for Governor, using my name, and got TROUNCED,” Trump wrote on his social media site.

While his legal battles have intensified, Trump has continued to beat President Biden in key polls. A CNN survey released Friday put him eight percentage points ahead of Biden in Michigan and placed them neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania.

Also on Friday, Trump’s media outfit was approved to go public following a merger deal with a publicly traded shell company. His net worth stands to go up as much as $3 billion — a huge boon amid his legal woes — but not before Monday.


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