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.