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Breath of financial oxygen for Trump before a legal deadline

Photo: Jeff Dean Associated Press Donald Trump at a campaign rally on March 16 in Vandalia, Ohio

Nicolas Revise – Agence France-Presse and Thomas Urbain – Agence France-Presse in New York

March 22, 2024

  • United States

Donald Trump's media company obtained a green light on Friday to go public in New York, which will unlock billions of dollars for the former American president who must provide a large legal bond on Monday .

The Republican presidential candidate in November is under pressure to seize his assets if he does not give the New York State courts a guarantee on March 25 that he will pay nearly half a billion dollars in reparations to which he was sentenced in civil court in February.

This windfall could come from his company Trump Media&Technology Group (TMTG), which will merge with a vehicle listed on the stock exchange, after a favorable vote on Friday at a general meeting.

This entry into the market should offer a breath of fresh air to the 77-year-old businessman and political tribune, in a precarious financial situation.

The real estate developer's lawyers say they are unable to provide a 120% guarantee of some half a billion dollars in fines, an essential guarantee to suspend the resounding judgment handed down for the duration of an appeal. on February 16 in a Manhattan civil court.


At the end of prosecutions initiated in 2022 by the Attorney General of the State of New York Letitia James, Donald Trump and his sons Eric and Donald Jr. were sentenced that day by Judge Arthur Engoron to $464 million in fines and interest for fraud: notably for lying in the 2010s about the value of the assets of their Trump Organization real estate empire in order to obtain bank loans.

TMTG will merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), a listed vehicle, also called SPAC, whose sole purpose is to allow a company to access the Stock Exchange more easily than through the traditional route a proper introduction.

Donald Trump is the main shareholder of TMTG who will control several tens of millions of shares in the new listed company. According to several estimates, his stake would be valued at more than three billion dollars at the current share price.

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The TMTG-DWAC agreement provides for a six-month lock-up period (lock-up) during which existing shareholders cannot sell their titles. However, nothing prevents Donald Trump from offering his securities as collateral to the courts or obtaining a loan based on the value of these shares.

On the day of this green light and before the Monday deadline, the former President of the United States attacked the New York justice system.

“No trial, no jury, no crime, no victim. Just a villainous judge and an attorney general who hates Trump and takes orders from the White House,” he attacked on his Truth Social network, referring to Arthur Engoron and Letitia James.

Donald Trump regularly storms against a “phony” judgment and an “unconstitutional guarantee requirement” imposed by a “racist and corrupt” prosecutor and a judge “controlled by the Democratic clique”.

Letitia James is an African-American magistrate, elected from the Democratic Party and occupies a political function and role at the top of the New York public prosecutor's office.

“Making New York Great Again”

Donald Trump also promised Friday that if he is inaugurated on January 20, “the 47th president, [he] will restore the greatness of New York,” with the megacity voting Democratic.

To win in November against President Joe Biden, he claimed to have “nearly $500 million in cash, a significant portion of which is intended to be used in [his] campaign”.

So what will happen on Monday if the billionaire doesn't provide bail ?

“A humiliation” and a “huge problem,” sum up University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias and former prosecutor Andrew Weissmann.

For Carl Tobias, if Donald Trump exhausts his appeals, “he could sell his real estate or […] try to get a bank loan or even declare personal bankruptcy.”

Prosecutor James could also “try to seize his New York money and some of his real estate,” such as Trump Tower on 5th Avenue and a building on Wall Street.

The tabloid New York Post thought Thursday that Donald Trump would “let” Letitia James seize Trump Tower or her golf course in posh Westchester County north of the city.

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