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Trump dealt another legal blow in New York

An appeals court denied former President Donald Trump‘s request to delay trial in the civil lawsuit filed against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James, giving the green light for the case to begin proceedings on Monday.

New York Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on Tuesday that the former president, alongside his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are liable for fraud in the overvaluation of several Trump properties attached to the ex-president’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization. The decision also rescinded Trump’s business licenses as punishment, potentially threatening his ownership of several properties.

Two days later, New York’s intermediate appellate court rejected Trump’s bid to delay a non-jury trial on the remaining aspects of the civil case. James alleges in her $250 million civil suit against the former president and his sons that The Trump Organization deceived insurers, banks and investors by inflating the value of its assets.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing in connection to James’ civil suit and argued after Tuesday’s ruling that his assets included in Engoron’s decision were worth much more than what the court had determined. Trump lawyer Alina Habba previously told Newsweek that Engoron’s ruling was “fundamentally flawed” and that the defense team plans to appeal the decision.

Newsweek reached out to Habba via email Thursday afternoon for comment.

“The widespread, radical attack against me, my family, and my supporters has now devolved to new, un-American depths, at the hands of a DERANGED New York State Judge, doing the bidding of a completely biased and corrupt ‘Prosecutor,’ Letitia James,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post Tuesday.

“We are rapidly becoming a Communist Country, and my Civil Rights have been taken away from me,” he continued. “A Highly Politicized Democrat Judge … simply rule[d], despite all of the evidence to the contrary, that I committed fraud, which is both ridiculous and untrue.”

It’s unclear if Engoron’s ruling on Tuesday will lead to the closings of Trump’s businesses in New York, although some legal experts have called the decision the equivalent of the “corporate death penalty.”

James on Thursday filed the final list of witnesses she intends to call to the stand, which includes the former president, his two sons attached to the civil suit and Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump. Ivanka previously served as executive vice president of The Trump Organization and was listed as a defendant when James’ complaint was first filed in September 2022, but is now listed as a former affiliate of the organization.

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