Turley Says Judge’s Ruling In Trump Civil Fraud Case Is ‘Absurd,’ ‘Quite Grotesque’

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Fox News’ Jonathan Turley said Monday that Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial was “quite grotesque.”

An appeals court ruled Monday to reduce Trump’s bond from $454 million to $175 million, which he has 10 days to pay. Engoron ruled in February that the former president must pay $354 million in damages plus around $100 million in interest and banned him for serving as an officer or director of a New York company for three years. New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the Trump Organization in 2022, claiming that the former president and his business overvalued assets to get more favorable loan terms.

“The problem with the original trial decision is really twofold. One is, ‘Did he engage in fraud?’ You know, the real estate market is rather infamous for undervaluing and overvaluing assets when it comes to loans and taxes,” Turley said. “This is the ubiquitous problem in the area. Well let’s assume that there was over- or undervaluations that occurred here, the question then becomes the penalty, which adds a new problem because the judge showed no restraint at all and just imposed a figure that most of us believe is absurd. When you drill down on that figure, there’s nothing there.”

“But since you didn’t have anyone that lost a dime, since the so-called victims wanted to get new loans from the Trump corporation, this figure is really quite grotesque in its size and it does raise constitutional issues,” he continued.

The appeals court made the decision to reduce the original bond on the same day Trump was due to pay it. James had threatened to seize Trump’s assets and freeze his bank accounts if he failed to pay the bond. (RELATED: Turley Says Judge In Trump Civil Fraud Case Showed ‘Gross Unfairness’) 

After the appeals court handed down its decision, Trump said he would abide by the new ruling and called Engoron’s initial ruling “ridiculous and outrageous.”

“We will abide by the decision of the Appellate Division, and post either a bond, equivalent securities, or cash,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “This also shows how ridiculous and outrageous Engoron’s original decision was at $450 Million. I DID NOTHING WRONG, AND NEW YORK SHOULD NEVER BE PUT IN A POSITION LIKE THIS AGAIN. BUSINESSES ARE FLEEING, VIOLENT CRIME IS FLOURISHING, AND IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THIS BE RESOLVED IN ITS TOTALITY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANK YOU!”

Engoron’s ruling and James’ threat to seize Trump’s assets sparked outrage among many prominent figures. “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary vowed to never again invest in the “mega-loser state” of New York, and CNN analyst Frank Luntz warned that James’ attempt to seize the former president’s assets could lead to a Trump victory in November.