Politics

Legal Expert Pours Cold Water On James’ Plans To Seize Trump’s Assets

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, stated that Democratic Attorney General Letitia James of New York was “not likely” to seize any of the properties former President Donald Trump owned.

In Westchester County, New York, where Trump owns the Trump National Golf Club Westchester and a private estate in Seven Springs, James filed judgments against Trump and others on Friday.

Turley stated that James might have a much harder time taking possession of the properties than she had anticipated.

“These properties are partnerships, they have leveraged debt. All of that has to be unraveled,” Turley told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow.

“So these aren’t just this, you know, one to one Trump versus James type of equation. So in order to seize that property, she’s going to be pulled into court, there’s going to be challenges. It’s not going to happen overnight. Everyone is celebrating this idea that she’s going to padlock Trump Tower. It’s not likely to happen, and it’s certainly not likely to remain very long,” Turley explained.

“The other thing is that she could be harming the value of the property that she’s trying to seize with some of these actions,” Turley continued. “I don’t think that matters to her, but it might matter to a court.”

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Turley also noted that appellate courts could reduce the damages.

“There is an issue here of the Eighth Amendment. There’s also an issue of due process. In addition to that line of cases, which is rather thin, so this is going to be new ground for the courts to deal with, so this is sort of unsettled,” Turley said.

“But there’s also the due process question. The court – the Supreme Court has on rare occasion stepped into state cases and said this is such a sort of over-the-top damage figure that it violates due process,” Turley added.

“New York is unique, I think, in this case, because they have made even the bond confiscatory, so, it’s not just the damages, but the bond rule that seem to be punitive and it’s certainly the use by James and this judge,” Turley added. “So those are going to be viable challenges, and it could go all the way to the Supreme Court.”

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Last week, Trump’s attorneys said the former president was having difficulty posting a bond of over $450 million to cover the judgment in a civil fraud case issued by New York Judge Arthur Engoron.

On Friday, Digital World Acquisition Corporation (DWAC) shareholders approved the merger with Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), which will result in at least $3 billion in gains for Trump.

Don Peebles — a Florida real estate mogul and former top bundler for then-candidate and President Barack Obama — has also sounded off on AG James over her civil fraud case against Trump.

In an interview on Fox News, Peebles said Trump’s real estate dealings with New York banks were a “victimless crime” and said James’ suit “should never have been brought.”

“Had it not been [Trump], it wouldn’t have been brought because there’s never been a case like this before,” Peebles told host Neil Cavuto. “I think that is an example of why Trump continues to rise in the polls. They are making him into a martyr.”

“This case amplifies that it’s very difficult to do business in New York, and if you happen to be a wealthy, successful entrepreneur, watch out because the government can be used to weaponize [against] you, especially if you get out of line and do something that the far-left doesn’t like,” Peebles—who remains a major financial player in the Democratic Party—added.

“They will not hesitate to disrupt your business or, worse, put you in jail,” he noted further.

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Trump has until Monday (March 25)  to come up with a $454 million bond, which he must pay before he can even appeal the ruling, which, in and of itself, is outrageous to several legal experts.

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Pollster Frank Luntz warned that if James seizes Trump’s assets, like she is planning to do if he can’t come up with the bond, it could create victimhood and increase his chances of being elected in 2024.

“I want you to remember this moment and don’t forget it. If the New York Attorney General starts to take his homes away, starts to seize his assets, it’s all going to be on camera. Pundits are going to sit there and scream about this, this man cannot be elected. You’re going to create the greatest victimhood of 2024 and you’re going to elect Donald Trump,” Luntz told CNN’s John Berman on Thursday.

“If they take his stuff, he’s going to say that this is proof that the federal government and the establishment and the swamp in Washington and all the politicians across the country and the attorneys generals and all of this, that this is a conspiracy to deny him the presidency. He’s going to go up in the polls just like he went up every single time they indicted him,” Luntz added.

He continued: “The indictment, let’s not talk about whether it’s justified or not, but it will prove the things that he’s saying on the campaign trail, and he will go up, and it may just elect him president. Do not forget that. And I say this to the attorney general right now, if you play politics on this, this is what the secretaries of state did in Colorado and what they did in, I believe, in Maine. His numbers went up in both states.”

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