Trump business empire under threat as New York fraud trial opens

NEW YORK   -   A combative Donald Trump ap­peared in a New York court on Monday to face civil fraud charges, denouncing the case as a “sham” intended to tor­pedo his campaign to retake the White House. The fraud trial, one of several legal bat­tles against the 77-year-old Trump, could potentially see the former president barred from doing business in New York state. “This has to do with election interference, plain and simple,” Trump said as he arrived for the opening day of what could be a three-month trial. “What we have here is an attempt to hurt me in an elec­tion.” New York Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons Eric and Don Jr committed fraud by inflating the value of the real estate and financial assets of the Trump Organization for years. New York Attorney Gen­eral Letitia James is now seek­ing $250 million in penalties and the removal of Trump and his sons from management of the family empire. “Justice will prevail,” James told report­ers before delivering opening arguments. “No matter how powerful you are, no matter how much money you think you may have, no one is above the law,” she said. Trump, ar­riving in court, denounced the case as a “scam” and a “witch­hunt.” “It’s a sham,” he said. “My financial statements are phenomenal.” Trump is sched­uled to appear before a federal judge in Washington on March 4, 2024 on charges of trying to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden. 

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt