Trump Lawyers Want to Negotiate With NY Judge Over Counter-Judgment

The attorney confirmed in a letter that he wants a counter-judgment after the ruling.
Trump Lawyers Want to Negotiate With NY Judge Over Counter-Judgment
(Left) New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron. (Dave Sanders/Pool Photo via AP) (Right) Former President Donald Trump in the courtroom in New York on Oct. 17, 2023. (Seth Wenig/Pool/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Former President Donald Trump’s attorney confirmed on Wednesday that he is seeking a counter-judgment in his client’s $355 million civil fraud trial, according to court papers.

The lawyer, Clifford Robert, submitted a letter in the New York City civil court to Judge Arthur Engoron, saying that the ruling and ban on President Trump from doing business in the state for several years was unfair. Notably, he argued, the former president was denied the chance to speak against the ruling before the judge filed it.

“Because the decision ordinarily entails more complicated relief, the instruction contemplates notice to the opponent so that both parties may either agree on a draft or prepare counter proposals to be settled before the court,” the attorney argued.

Because his client was denied the ability to offer a counter-proposal, Mr. Robert said, “Defendants therefore request that the Court set a return date for the Proposed Judgment that affords Defendants sufficient time to submit a proposed counter-judgment.”

“To deprive Defendants of the opportunity to submit a proposed counter-judgment would be contrary to fundamental fairness and due process,” he added.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Robert sent a letter to Judge Engoron in response to the judge’s demand for information about Trump Organization official Allen Weisselberg’s possible plea deal after a New York Times article made the allegation.

“The Article simply does not provide any principled basis for the Court to reopen the record or question the veracity of Mr. Weisselberg’s testimony in this case,” the lawyer wrote in the letter in early February.
“Indeed, we respectfully submit that the Court’s request for comment on this speculative media account is unprecedented, inappropriate and troubling,” he added, while fellow Trump attorney Alina Habba told the court that the NY Times article is “neither admissible nor reliable.”

Days later, the judge issued a sharp response, claiming the letter was “completely out of bounds,” according to reports. “You and your co-counsel have been questioning my impartiality since the early days of this case, presumably because I sometimes rule against your clients,” Judge Engoron wrote.

On Feb. 16, the judge ruled that President Trump, his company, two eldest sons, and other officials in the company must pay $355 million, arguing that the former president and others misrepresented their wealth to get more favorable bank loans and insurance deals.

Further, in an earlier ruling, Judge Engoron accused the former president and his company of over-inflating the value of his properties, which drew concerns from multiple real estate professionals who suggested that the judge doesn’t fully understand how real estate markets and appraisals work.

The order also forces a shakeup at the top of The Trump Organization, putting the company under court supervision and curtailing how it does business. President Trump, his sons, and the others are banned from doing business for several years each.

Judge Engoron, a Democrat, concluded that the former president and his company were “likely to continue their fraudulent ways” without the penalties and controls he imposed. He also concluded that President Trump and his co-defendants “failed to accept responsibility” and that experts who testified on his behalf “simply denied reality.”

He said their “complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological” and “the frauds found here leap off the page and shock the conscience.”

The case was brought by Democratic Attorney General Letitia James, who said last week that the ruling represents “a tremendous victory for this state, this nation, and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules—even former presidents.”

‘Election Interference’

Meanwhile, the former president said the decision was “election inference” and “weaponization against a political opponent,” complaining to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida that he was being penalized for “having built a perfect company, great cash, great buildings, great everything.”

President Trump, one of 40 witnesses to testify at the trial, said his financial statements actually understated his net worth. He also maintains that he is worth several billion dollars and testified last year that he had about $400 million in cash, in addition to properties and other investments.

“There were no victims because the banks made a lot of money,” he told reporters last week.

Lawyers for the former president have indicated that they will appeal the ruling and are prepared to pay the nearly $400 million bond to do so.

“I can tell you what the rules are. Within 30 days, even if we choose to appeal this, and we will, we have to post the bond, which is the full amount and then some,” said Ms. Habba during a Fox News interview on Feb. 19.

Another Trump lawyer, Christopher Kise, said on Feb. 19 that his team plans to appeal the decision and focus on the judge’s definition of fraud. “The case raises serious legal and constitutional questions regarding ‘fraud’ claims/findings without any actual fraud,” Mr. Kise said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
Related Topics