CNN’s senior legal analyst Elie Honig laid out his biggest problem with New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit against former President Donald Trump on Thursday morning.
James’ office alleges in a civil fraud lawsuit that Trump, his sons and the Trump Organization inflated his net worth by roughly $2.2 billion. Trump has testified he had “very little, if any,” involvement in the financial statements of his company, according to CNN.
“This is a big case, it’s a big civil case involving hundreds of millions of dollars. But it’s also the fifth most important case Trump is facing right now after the four criminal cases,” Honig told host Phil Mattingly. “That deposition is really interesting. Trump argues, ‘Because of the Trump name, I could have even claimed it was double or triple the value.’ There’s no question he inflated the assets.” (RELATED: Trump Organization Found Guilty On All Charges In Fraud Trial)
“But the problem with the case is no one really got defrauded because the banks on the other end, the banks who were making those lines, they decided we’re going to make these loans and they got repaid with interest and they made profits,” Honig continued. “That’s why it wasn’t charged criminally. Technically, is it fraud, yes, but you don’t have a victim, which make it is less appealing as a criminal case.”
James opened the case in 2022 after alleging that Trump provided false financial statements “to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system.” James called for Trump and his children, who she alleges were involved, to be banned from serving as an officer or director of any New York-registered or licensed corporation.