Day 4: Judge places Trump business assets under court monitor

by WorldTribune Staff, October 5, 2023

In Day 4 of Donald Trump’s fraud trial in New York City, Judge Arthur Engoron on Thursday issued an order prohibiting the former president from transferring his assets without informing a court monitor.

Engoron’s supplemental order states that Trump and the other defendants must disclose all of the entities they own and declare in advance “any anticipated transfer of assets or liabilities to any other entities.”

Judge Arthur Engoron issued an order prohibiting former President Donald Trump from transferring his assets without informing a court monitor.

The judge’s order also applies to Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization Allen Weisselberg, and Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney. The group has until Oct. 26 to hand over the information to former federal judge Barbara Jones, the monitor who is already overseeing the Trump Organization’s finances.

The order is the second Engoron has issued since the trial began on Monday. He also issued a partial gag order on Trump, prohibiting him from discussing court staff on social media.

The gag order came after Trump had said in a social media post that Engoron’s court clerk was “Schumer’s girlfriend.”

Engoron threatened “serious sanctions” if the directive is ignored.

The Truth Social post included a picture of Engoron’s longtime law clerk standing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a campaign event.

“Schumer’s girlfriend, Allison R. Greenfield, is running this case against me,” Trump wrote, adding “How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!”

The post was removed during the court’s lunch break later on Tuesday after Engoron said he ordered it be taken down. But it was sent out via email by Trump’s 2024 campaign.

“Although I have since ordered the post to be deleted, it has been mailed out to millions of others,” the judge said. “Consider this a gag order.”

Trump had said Monday that Greenfield “should not be allowed to be in his ear on every single question” and claimed she “hates Trump.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James

New York Democrat Attorney General Letitia James filed the lawsuit last year, alleging fraud by the Trump Organization. She is seeking $250 million in damages, along with hoping to block Trump from doing business in New York. Engoron has already found Trump liable for the fraud claims, but now the nonjury trial will proceed to examine the six claims brought by James.

Trump said on Wednesday he was “stuck” in New York City due James and would far prefer being on the campaign trail in Iowa, New Hampshire or elsewhere, but he can’t due to the “corrupt attorney general.”

“I’m here … stuck here, and I can’t campaign,” Trump told the press outside the courtroom. “I’d rather be right now in Iowa. I’d rather be in New Hampshire or South Carolina or Ohio or a lot of other places. But I’m stuck here because I have a corrupt attorney general that communicates with the DOJ in Washington to keep me nice and busy.”

The civil fraud charges against Trump are an “embarrasment” to the New York State Bar, says legal scholar Jonathan Turley.

Turley made the comments during a Wednesday evening appearance with Fox News host Sean Hannity. He said James has been heavily political in the cases she chooses to prosecute since winning office in 2018.

“The question is, is this selective in targeting the Trump business?” Turley asked. “James has expressed very little interest in liberal organizations that have been accused of very similar conduct. She’s gone after the NRA, she’s gone after Trump. She’s really developed this signature that she will use all the levers of her office to go against political opponents.”

Trump filed an appeal against the pretrial ruling by Engoron on Wednesday, and told reporters on Tuesday that he intends to testify in the fraud trial “at the appropriate time.”

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