The New York attorney general’s sprawling civil fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump and his family company will not be resolved until early February, according to a source familiar with the matter.
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who presided over the three-month bench trial, had previously stated that he expected to issue his verdict by the end of January.
That is no longer the plan. The written verdict is now expected to appear on the electronic court docket on or around February 5, according to an insider who spoke to BI on the condition of anonymity.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has sought at least $370 million in damages from the Trump Organization, Trump, his two eldest sons, and other executives named as defendants.
She also seeks a package of relief that could severely cripple or even destroy Trump’s real estate and golf-resort empire, including prohibitions on Trump purchasing property and operating a business in New York.
James’ lawsuit claimed that Trump falsified property valuations to obtain excessively favourable tax and loan interest rates, and he asked Engoron to allow the office to recoup the ill-gotten gains.
Engoron had already dealt a devastating blow to the Trump Organization in a summary judgement decision issued prior to the trial last autumn, ruling that it had engaged in fraud and ordering that it be partially dissolved. That decision has been put on hold while an appeals court reviews it, and it is unclear whether Engoron will reconsider the dissolution when he makes his decision next month.
Whatever Engoron’s decision is is, it will almost certainly be appealed as well. Trump’s attorneys raised constitutional issues in their closing argument at the trial, indicating that if necessary, they will almost certainly appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court.