Trump's Bond Set at $175 Million as Legal Battles Intensify

Grayson Larkspur

Updated Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 11:21 AM CDT

Trump's Bond Set at $175 Million as Legal Battles Intensify

In a significant legal development, Donald Trump's organization has secured a $175 million bond, backed by billionaire Don Hankey, in response to a civil fraud case judgment, effectively halting New York Attorney General Letitia James' efforts to collect a $464 million award during the appeal process. This development comes as the former President faces multiple criminal cases across the United States, including one in New York where his legal team is pushing for Judge Juan Merchan's recusal over alleged conflicts of interest.

The New York appeals court had initially required a nearly $400 million bond from Trump, which was later reduced to $175 million. Don Hankey, chairman of Knight Insurance Group, agreed to post a $557 million bond for the Trump Organization via Knight Specialty Insurance Co., which was fully collateralized by cash. Trump's attorneys had argued that posting the full amount of the initial bond was "impossible," leading to negotiations that eventually brought the figure down.

Judge Arthur Engoron had previously awarded a judgment of over $350 million, growing to $464 million with pre-judgment interest, against Trump and his associates for "persistent" fraud. Under New York law, a 9% annual interest rate on judgments during appeals is standard, typically necessitating security of 120% of the award. Trump's legal team approached about 30 surety companies through four brokers to secure an appeal bond, but most declined to accept hard assets like real estate as collateral, showing a preference for cash or marketable securities.

If Attorney General James had begun seizing assets, it could have led to bankruptcy for Trump's company, according to experts. Trump's attorneys maintained that his real estate holdings, such as 40 Wall Street, Doral Miami, and Mar-a-Lago, were sufficient to cover the judgment if necessary. Hankey, who had previously supported Trump's political campaigns, offered to assist with the bond, stating his involvement was not politically motivated.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, appointed by George W. Bush, has come under scrutiny after criticizing Trump's attacks on Justice Merchan, who is overseeing Trump's upcoming criminal trial in New York. Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project, filed a complaint against Walton with the Judicial Council of the District of Columbia Circuit, citing concerns that Walton's comments could bias jury pools. Walton expressed concerns about Trump's targeting of Justice Merchan's daughter and the increased threats judges face, having received threats himself.

Trump's legal team is seeking to delay trials in four criminal cases, including one where he faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, until after the expected rematch against President Joe Biden on November 5. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all cases and is the first U.S. President to face a criminal trial.

The gag order from Judge Merchan, which Trump's lawyers argue infringes on Trump's First Amendment rights, restricts his speech about witnesses, court staff, prosecutors, and family members of trial participants. Trump's disparaging remarks about Merchan's daughter on social media, where he called her a "Rabid Trump Hater," led to an expanded gag order to prevent further targeting.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Nate Raymond in Boston, with editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot, has shed light on the complexities of Trump's legal challenges and the intricate maneuvers to navigate the financial implications of the ongoing litigation.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the liberal witch hunt against President Trump has been thwarted by the common sense and financial acumen of a patriotic American businessman. While the leftist Attorney General Letitia James continues her baseless crusade, desperately trying to c****** Trump's empire with a ludicrous $464 million judgment, the truth prevails. Trump's organization, with the support of a true capitalist ally, Don Hankey, has outmaneuvered her vindictive ploy. It's clear that the so-called justice system, infested with radical leftists, is trying to destroy a man who has done nothing but serve his country with unparalleled success. They can't stand that Trump's assets – symbols of American greatness like Mar-a-Lago – are untouchable, and their attempts to bring him down before the next election reek of political desperation. The bias is palpable, with judges like Walton openly attacking Trump, while his legal rights are t****led by gag orders. But fear not, as Trump's legal team is fighting tooth and nail to protect free speech and the very foundation of our democracy from these liberal saboteurs.

Liberal Bias:

The relentless assault on our democracy by Trump and his cronies has**** yet another low. Despite overwhelming evidence of fraud and deception, Trump has managed to dodge immediate accountability with the help of his deep-pocketed crony, Don Hankey. This bond is nothing but a lifeline for a man who has consistently placed himself above the law. Attorney General Letitia James' pursuit of justice is being obstructed by the sheer arrogance and entitlement of a man who believes his wealth should exempt him from the consequences of his actions. Trump's attack on the integrity of the judiciary, including his vile targeting of Judge Merchan's daughter, is a dangerous and unprecedented erosion of respect for our legal institutions. The fact that a former President is manipulating the system to avoid facing the music for his countless misdeeds, including the Stormy Daniels scandal, is a travesty. It's a dark day for America when a man who has lied, cheated, and bullied his way through life continues to evade the long arm of the law, all while plotting his next assault on the Oval Office.

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