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A 464 million that strikes at the heart of Donald Trump's reputation

Photo: Charly Triballeau Agence France-Presse Less than eight months before the 2024 presidential election, Donald Trump appears to be having difficulty attracting donors, unlike his opponent in the race, Joe Biden.

Fabien Deglise

March 25, 2024 Analysis

  • United States

The New York Court of Appeal temporarily put an end to Donald Trump's ordeal on Monday by temporarily suspending the imminent execution of the judgment handed down last February against the billionaire for conspiring to manipulate the accounts of his real estate empire.

The Republican candidate for the next American presidential election announced last week through his lawyers that he was unable to obtain a guarantee of the bail he must pay to support the appeal he has filed. filed in this fraud lawsuit. The amount stood at 464 million on Monday, the deadline offered to the ex-president to fulfill this legal obligation.

In a terse ruling, however, the five-judge appeals court panel gives the Trump Organization and its top executives 10 more days to post a lower bond of $175 million dollars, without which the judgment would then be executed, thus exposing Donald Trump to the possible seizure by the courts of some elements of his real estate assets.

However, if the populist has just obtained a breath of fresh air in this affair which, with several others, punctuates his new race towards the White House, his image still risks being damaged.

Indeed, by displaying an “impossibility” of securing such a high deposit, after having contacted around thirty companies involved in the matter, the billionaire has indeed just been hit in the heart in the reputation as a formidable and uncompromising negotiator that he likes to display, and that of a successful and wealthy businessman who paved his way to the American presidency in 2016 and on which he is still counting to return there in 2024.

“All this completely undermines [Donald Trump’s] brand, which he uses mainly to make money around the world, not just in the United States,” criminologist Nikos Passas summarized in an interview on CNN. , a criminal justice specialist at Northeastern University. “Ultimately, this could really mean the end of Trump's business in New York, but also lead to further problems for him in other jurisdictions. »

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On his social network, Donald Trump announced Monday that he would respect the decision of the Court of Appeal and post “either a deposit, equivalent securities or cash”, he said. written while once again posing as an innocent victim of New York justice.

On Friday, on the same network, the populist boasted of having “nearly $500 million in cash” in his pocket, a “substantial sum that I intended to use in my electoral campaign” and collected “thanks to my hard work, my talent and my luck,” he added, to maintain his own myth.

Shortly before the appeal court's decision, former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann predicted, however, that Donald Trump's inability to provide the 464 million bail would certainly change his image ” radically in the eyes of many people, because he has always presented himself as a successful billionaire,” he said, quoted by Agence France-Presse.

For lawyer Mark Zauderer, a regular in New York courtrooms, Donald Trump has been exposed for months to “slow torture”, from which he cannot emerge a winner, including by seeking to delay deadlines and limit certain damage . “Trump has nothing to gain here,” he said in the pages of the New York Times on Monday. “The only question is: how much will he lose and how long will it take?”

As Monday's deadline approached, uncertainty hovered over Donald Trump's real estate empire over which New York State Attorney General Letitia James could have exercised control as early as Tuesday. seized to collect the money owed in this lawsuit. Last week, she also published the judgment condemning Donald Trump to a fine of some 350 million for fraud — without interest — in Westchester County, where Donald Trump's golf course and private estate known as Donald Trump are located. the name Seven Springs. This procedure is usually the first step toward seizure.

On Friday, the Republican candidate sought to exploit this threat to encourage his supporters to contribute to his electoral fund. In an email, he called on his base to support him financially against Democrats who seek to get their hands “on Trump Tower,” he said without providing proof. He also reiterated his baseless accusations that Joe Biden coordinated this trial, of which he claims to be a victim.

The sinews of war

In 2023, political action committees supporting the populist spent at least $64 million to cover his legal costs, according to documents filed with U.S. election authorities. After taking control of the Republican National Committee by placing several of his close friends there, including his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as vice-president, Donald Trump passed a sharing agreement last week. of donations between the organization and the financial arm of its electoral campaign. The goal ? Allow the use of part of the contributions of party members to finance its numerous legal setbacks and the lawyer bills that accompany them.

Less than eight months before the 2024 presidential election, Donald Trump appears to be having difficulty attracting donors, unlike his opponent in the race, Joe Biden. At the end of February, the Democratic Party announced that it had $155 million in cash to orchestrate the re-election of its candidate. The populist team boasts of having $42 million in its accounts, while the Republican National Committee has an additional $11.3 million.

On Monday, Donald Trump confirmed his unique status as candidate for the presidency of the United States, by finding himself facing two different courts in New York City on the same day. While the five judges of the court of appeal granted him 10 days to post his bail, another magistrate rejected his lawyers' request to further delay the start of his criminal trial for secret payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign to hide his extramarital affair with a pornographic actress.

The ex-president's team claimed not to have had enough time to consult the evidence accumulated against Donald Trump and accused the prosecutors in this case of “misconduct”. Charges dismissed by Judge Juan M. Merchan, who set April 15 for the start of this trial, which will thus become the first of four criminal trials that the Republican candidate could have to face during his electoral campaign.< /p>

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116