A last-ditch legal effort by former President Trump to delay the start of his civil fraud trial in New York was denied Thursday by the state’s appellate division. The trial will proceed as planned Monday, barring any other roadblocks.
A judge had issued a temporary pause in the sprawling civil case after Trump claimed the trial judge was ignoring an appellate ruling. The New York attorney general’s office, which brought the case against Trump, called Trump’s effort a “brazen and meritless attempt” to “usurp” the authority of Justice Arthur Engoron, the trial judge.
The appeals court’s order comes after Engoron found Trump liable for fraud Tuesday, ruling that New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) proved the core elements of her case against the former president and his businesses.
Trump’s business empire was imperiled by the decision, which stripped some of the former president’s business licenses and raised the potential for him to lose control of some of his famed properties.
The New York attorney general’s office sued Trump, the Trump Organization and two of his adult children — Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. — last September, claiming it uncovered more than a decade of fraud during a multi-year investigation.
The lawsuit claims Trump’s company sought lower taxes and better insurance coverage by falsely inflating and deflating the value of its assets. James’s office is seeking some $250 million in financial penalties, plus the barring of Trump and his children from serving as officers or directors of New York-registered or licensed corporations.
Engoron’s decision applied to the first of seven causes of action applied in the lawsuit. The other six elements will be the focus of the upcoming trial.
Arguing against granting Trump’s request to delay the proceeding, James’s office said pushing back the start of the trial would likely “wreak havoc” on the former president’s legal calendar. He faces a combined 91 criminal charges across four cases, each of which has its own schedule, and he has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
—Updated 3:53 p.m.