Trump Judge Rules on $175 Million Payment

Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Tuesday, April 23, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and today, we’ll dive into former President Donald Trump’s
Trump Judge Rules on $175 Million Payment
Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on at Manhattan Criminal Court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, in New York on April 22, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Bill Thomas

Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Tuesday, April 23, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and today, we’ll dive into former President Donald Trump’s significant $175 million bond agreement, his call for peaceful protests amid the “hush-money” trial, a Supreme Court ruling on Texas voting laws, and its upcoming review of President Joe Biden’s “ghost gun” legislation.

We’ll begin with our first huge story today: some big money, and good news for Donald Trump.

Trump Judge Rules on $175 Million Payment

President Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James have reached an agreement on a $175 million bond in his New York civil case, which has been issued by Knight Specialty Insurance Company (KSIC). The bond is meant to secure President Trump’s compliance with a $454.2 million judgment won by Ms. James if he does not succeed in an appeal.

Ms. James claimed that KSIC lacked a “certificate of qualification” and that President Trump could still access the account holding the collateral. But she still approved the agreement, giving the insurance company exclusive control over the account.

President Trump’s legal team accepted the settlement terms, which are structured to guarantee payment if the state wins the appeal.

However, the agreement includes restrictions to ensure the security of the funds.

KSIC is required to provide monthly statements and cannot make changes to the pledge agreement without court approval. The insurance company’s lawyer will serve as the point of contact for any service outside of KSIC.

Ms. James questioned the sufficiency of the bond and the stability of the insurance company. In response, Amit Shah, the president of the insurance company, defended its status, pointing out that it manages a bank account with $175 million in cash set aside for the appeal.

President Trump defended the bond outside the courtroom at his criminal trial, stating that he has supplied the cash and has enough funds to support it.

He said: “We put up cash and the number is 175. She shouldn’t be complaining about the bonding company. The bonding company would be good for it because I put up the money. I have plenty of money to put up.”

The Trump “bond story” is still unfolding, and we’ll keep you updated on the progress of this drama as it continues on.

Now, shifting from legal dealings to public appeals, we share with you President Trump’s requests for peaceful protests as his trial moves forward.

Trump Makes Major Request to Supporters

As his “hush-money” trial kicked off in New York on Monday, President Trump called on his supporters to “go out and peacefully protest” the case.

On his Truth Social media platform, he questioned why pro-Palestinian demonstrators are allowed to “roam the Cities, scream, shout, sit, block traffic, enter buildings, not get permits, and basically do whatever they want” while pro-Trump backers are “rudely and systematically shut down and ushered off to far away ‘holding areas,’ essentially denying them their Constitutional Rights.”

The former president voiced his criticism of what he perceives as “a two tiered system of justice” that restricts free speech and assembly rights for his supporters. He urged his followers to “GO OUT AND PEACEFULLY PROTEST. RALLY BEHIND MAGA. SAVE OUR COUNTRY!”

He compared leftist pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University to the restrictions faced by his own supporters.

President Trump wrote on Truth Social on Monday: “Unlike at Columbia University where the Radical Left Palestinian Protesters sat on the Front Lawn, practically took over the School, and screamed, ‘Death to the Jews, Death to Israel, Death to America,’ and nothing happened to them, Lower Manhattan surrounding the Courthouse, where I am heading now, is completely CLOSED DOWN. SO UNFAIR!!!”

He also criticized the trial, saying that it’s also “very unfair” and has prevented him from campaigning in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The trial, which focuses on a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election, is expected to last six weeks. President Trump has denied the allegations, labeling the trial as election interference orchestrated by the Biden administration and Democrats.

The jury includes several lawyers, a sales professional, an investment banker, and an English teacher. To convict the former president of a felony, prosecutors must show that he not only falsified business records, but he did so to hide another crime. This New York case is one of four against the former president, and it’s the only one likely to reach trial before the upcoming November election.

We’ll make a move now from protests to policy. The Supreme Court has just ruled on Texas voting laws, which is a significant decision with broad implications. This is something you’re going to be very interested in—let’s take a look.

Supreme Court Denies Bid to Expand No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots in Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge to a Texas law that requires voters under 65 to provide justification for voting by mail.

This means that the attempt by Democrats to expand mail-in voting in Texas has failed because the law only allows individuals 65 and older to vote by mail without a qualifying excuse.

This ruling is viewed as a victory for those who advocate for election integrity, as they believe unrestricted mail-in voting can lead to fraud. It also impacts six other states with similar regulations.

In Texas, public opinion is split on allowing no-excuse mail-in voting. This ruling emerges in the midst of wider debates about election integrity versus voter suppression.

Although there’s a movement toward more lenient voting laws, there’s still some argument for stricter measures, such as requiring photo ID and consolidating election dates, to secure voter integrity.

Here’s another really intriguing story. We’ll take a look now at President Trump’s increasing support among minority voters and what’s behind this unexpected trend.

‘Its the Economy, Stupid!’ Black and Hispanic Voters Embrace Trump on Economics and Well-Being

The former president has gained support from black and Hispanic voters, which could shift the traditional voting patterns that previously favored Democrats.

Polling data shows that President Trump’s support among black men in swing states increased to 30 percent, compared to 11 percent nationally in 2020. Among black women, the support increased from 6 percent to 11 percent.

The erosion of support for Democrats, especially among black voters, has really surprised political commentators.

Economic issues appear to have heavily influenced this change. Rising living costs, especially rent hikes, have hit black and Hispanic communities hard. For example, average rents soared by 20 percent from January 2021 to March 2024, a significant jump compared to the 12 percent increase during Trump’s presidency.

Additionally, black and Hispanic workers, who are often employed in production and transportation roles, face job threats from low-wage illegal immigrants. These communities also suffer a great deal from crime, and they’ve been impacted by recidivist offenders released through criminal justice reforms supported by some Democrats.

President Trump has made efforts to appeal to these voters through actions such as increasing funding for historically black colleges and universities and expanding the Federal Pell Grant program.

Republican leaders have also pushed for school choice and a return to traditional basics in K-12 education, policies that appeal to many families and voters in these communities.

These economic challenges and concerns about safety seem to be driving more black and Hispanic voters toward President Trump.

Finally, we move to a contentious legal battleground. From the voting booth to breaking U.S. Supreme Court news, this is one of those things that affect so many people, nationwide.

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Biden ‘Ghost Gun’ Rule

The Supreme Court has just agreed to review a rule proposed by the Biden administration concerning “ghost guns.” Such guns are homemade firearms without serial numbers, which makes them untraceable by law enforcement.

While some state laws regulate these types of firearms, federal efforts to control or prohibit them have not been successful to date.

The rule, enacted in April 2022 (two years ago), mandates that individuals who build their own firearms must include serial numbers and requires that buyers of gun-assembly kits undergo background checks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has been tasked with enforcing this regulation.

In October 2023, after being blocked by lower courts, the rule was reinstated by the Supreme Court. The decision was contentious, with dissent from some conservative justices.

Judge Reed O'Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas originally halted the rule, stating that the ATF had overstepped its authority by regulating partially manufactured firearm parts.

The case has experienced several reversals, with the 5th Circuit rejecting a government appeal to pause the lower court’s ruling but noting that the injunction was excessively broad.

The appellate court indicated that Judge O'Connor might need to reassess the situation and potentially expand the injunction if the Biden administration enforces the rule against customers.

The Supreme Court’s choice to take up the case suggests that at least four justices believe it merits consideration. Oral arguments are scheduled for the upcoming fall session.

Now, we’re almost out of time, so that’s going to be our final story on the Tuesday edition of The Epoch Times News Brief!

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For all of us here at The Epoch Times News Brief, I’m Bill Thomas. Have a wildly fabulous day.

Bill Thomas is a two-time Golden Mike Award winner who has specialized in breaking news coverage. In his career he has covered floods, forest fires, police pursuits, civil unrest, and freeway collapses. He is a host of EpochCasts News Brief, an audio news show from The Epoch Times. You can reach Bill via email at [email protected]
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