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The Conclusion of Trump’s $370 Million Civil Fraud Trial in New York

As Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York nears its conclusion, the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, seeks nearly $370 million in penalties. 

The lawsuit alleges Trump and associates inflated asset values for over a decade, aiming to secure favorable loan terms. 

Despite Trump’s denial and claims of a political witch hunt, the trial has been a backdrop to his 2024 Republican presidential campaign.

Trump, facing multiple legal challenges as he eyes the 2024 election, accused the trial of interfering with his campaign. 

Denied the opportunity to deliver his own closing arguments due to restrictions against making a “campaign speech,” Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, utilized court appearances to rally support and criticize the trial’s proceedings.

Judge Arthur Engoron, presiding over the Manhattan trial, previously found Trump liable for fraud in September. 

The focus now shifts to determining the extent of Trump’s ill-gotten gains. Despite fines for violating a gag order and Trump’s appeals against prior rulings, the trial underscored allegations that Trump consistently overvalued assets.

State lawyers aimed to demonstrate Trump’s pattern of inflating property values, challenging the image of the business mogul he cultivated before entering politics. 

Trump’s defiant testimony in November defended property valuations and accused James and Engoron of political bias. 

The trial witnessed a tense reunion with his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump directed him to manipulate asset values on financial statements.

Trump’s adult children—Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka—testified, claiming minimal involvement in preparing financial statements. 

Unlike her brothers, Ivanka is not a defendant in the case. The trial, marked by clashes over credibility and attempts for immediate verdicts, unfolds amid Trump’s other legal battles. 

Facing potential criminal trials in Washington, Georgia, Florida, and New York, Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from overturning election results to handling classified documents and hush money payments.

As the trial concludes, the impact on Trump’s political future remains uncertain, with potential appeals and ongoing legal challenges shaping the narrative of his post-presidential endeavors.