Fox News legal analyst and constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley explained Monday how an uncommon law in New York could hurt former President Donald Trump in his civil suit.
Trump appeared Monday at the New York Supreme Court in a civil trial alleging he inflated his assets and defrauded banks and investors. Democratic Attorney General Letitia James, who campaigned on nailing Trump, sued Trump in September of 2022.
Turley, reacting to the live shot of Trump in the courtroom, said viewers would feel one of two things: “rage” or be “thrilled.”
“You have James now being shown in the background. You have Trump in the foreground and it fulfills the narrative on both sides. Trump is likely right, I mean, he is being shown in a sort of tag team series of prosecutions and civil lawsuits where one prosecutor tags another. They are all insisting on these trials occurring before the election. There are many people who find that troubling. And so he is right in that, I think that it is not going to do much in terms of his standing in the election,” Turley said before turning his attention to a state law that could hurt Trump.
“The problem that he has is this New York law that the New York law is different from most jurisdictions. He has been prosecuted with what’s called a section 63.12 action. You don’t need to show intent to defraud and you don’t need to show that people lost money. I think a lot of people will look at that and go ‘Well, why have all of these proceedings, this huge effort if no money was lost?’ But it gets more wicked from there because the state can what’s called disgorge profit even though people didn’t lose money,” he explained. (RELATED: CNN Senior Legal Analyst Lays Out 3 Possible Defenses For Trump In NY Civil Case)
“So in a case like Ernst & Young and other cases, they were able to get millions of dollars to disgorge the process even though those weren’t damages to anyone in particular. So this is not what most people think of when they hear that someone has defrauded. The state here is saying we want the profits because there is a pattern of fraudulent representation.”
Trump spoke to reporters just before entering the courtroom and called the suit a “scam” and a “sham” and said it is politically motivated.