In court, Trump plays Trump: He accuses the prosecutor of being a “racist” and the judge a “thug.”

Dressed in a navy blue suit and electric blue tie, he arrived at the New York State Supreme Court to accuse the attorney general, an African-American magistrate who filed a complaint against him, in front of the cameras. Letitia James calls it a “horror show” for being “racist” and “corrupt”.

The hearing, the first in a long series, is a “sham” and “election interference” that could prevent him from returning to the White House in 2024, he charged, and Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the hearings. , from “Thug”.

Inside the courtroom, the former president, 77, spent his first day sitting with his face covered and speaking only to his lawyers. Eric Trump, one of his two sons targeted by the complaint, sat behind him on the first day of the hearing, which promises to be long and technical.

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“Real Estate Empire”

Donald Trump, Eric Trump and another of his sons, Donald Trump Jr., along with the Trump Organization, are being targeted by a civil complaint from Letitia James, who alleges they inflated their assets to get more favorable terms with banks. Best insurance conditions.

Chris Kiss, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, argued instead that “the president (who) has built one of the most successful real estate empires on the planet.” His colleague Alina Hubba insisted that her powerful client was not doing any “fraud” but “real estate”.

“It’s not about a conspiracy, it’s about doing business,” he argued.

In the opposite camp, Ms James accused the property magnate of “repeated fraud” and “deception” over the years.

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One of his team members, Kevin Wallace, reiterated that the fraud was already legally established and that the individuals targeted by the civil complaint “overvalued their assets by $812 million to $2.2 billion per year” from 2014 to 2021.

Mr. Including when Trump was in the White House (2017-2021).

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No prison

The case gained considerable prominence last week when Judge Engoron ruled in an interim order that “repeated fraud” had been established.

As a result, the magistrate ordered that the New York State business licenses be revoked from Donald Trump and his sons, directors of the Trump Organization, and that the companies targeted by the complaint be seized and placed in liquidatorship.

Donald Trump, who made his fortune in real estate and casinos in the 1980s, has appealed, but if the decision is upheld, he could lose control of several of his group’s flagships, such as Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

These properties are at the center of Letitia James’ allegations: The businessman’s triplex in Trump Tower would have tripled in size, while the building at 40 Wall Street was overvalued in financial disclosures by $200 to $300 million.

Donald Trump cannot be jailed in this case. But the trial will provide a foretaste of legal events that could derail his campaign for the Republican nomination.

Indicted on four counts, he is scheduled to appear in federal court in Washington on March 4, where he is accused of attempting to alter the outcome of the November 2020 presidential election.

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The civil trial will last until Christmas.

Dozens of witnesses are slated to speak, the first of which is a former employee of Mazars, an accounting firm who decided on Monday not to work for the Trump Organization in 2021.

The list of witnesses included Donald Trump himself and his three children, Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka.

In the afternoon, supporters of Donald Trump received a new call to fund his campaign.

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