February 17, 2024

Trump blasts 'clubhouse politician' judge after $350M fine, defends 'great company' he built

On Friday, former president Trump criticized Judge Arthur Engoron, whom he called "clubhouse politician" after the judge prohibited him from operating his business in New York for three years and fined him over $350 million. 

Trump defended the "great company" he founded and told Fox News Digital that the ruling is yet another instance of Democrats "attempting to stop" him, but failing, as Fox News reported.

Engoron rendered his verdict on Friday, following a protracted civil fraud trial that commenced in October and pertained to a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James against the former president on charges of asset inflation and fraudulent activities.

Trump Comments

"A crooked New York judge working with the very corrupt attorney general of New York State, who ran on the basis of ‘I will get trump’ before knowing me — before even knowing anything about me — just ruled that I have to pay a fine of $355 million based on absolutely nothing," Trump told Fox News Digital.

"No victims. No damages. Great financial statements, with full disclaimer clauses, only success," he added.

Trump told Fox News Digital that the "banks and insurance companies were thrilled — they made nothing but money. No defaults, no nothing at a time when many banks are losing money."

"This is a witch hunt where the judge ruled against me before he even saw the case," Trump said, noting that Engoron "strongly stated that said Mar-a-Lago was worth $18 million- when it is worth anywhere from 50 to 100 times more than that."

Ergoron's Previous Ruling

Engoron found in September that Trump and the Trump Organization had deceived lenders, insurers, and others by inflating the value of Trump's assets and net worth on documents used to close deals and get loans, committing fraud as they built their real estate empire.

The president added that Engoron's conviction had "already been overturned on this case four times — a record," an allusion to decisions of the Appellate Division of New York State regarding portions of the case.

"I built a great company and now this whacked out clubhouse politician judge bars me for three years," Trump said, adding that the case "should have gone to the commercial division," but said Engoron "wouldn't allow it to happen."

Trump told Fox News Digital that Engoron "is a political hack working in conjunction with a crooked attorney general in the greatest case of election interference anyone has ever seen in this country."

Engoron's 92-page ruling stated his criticism of Trump and his testimony during trial, saying that he "rarely responded to the questions asked, and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues far beyond the scope of the trial."

"His refusal to answer the questions directly, or in some cases, at all, severely compromised his credibility," Engoron wrote.

Trump Camp Reaction

When asked for reaction, Trump told Fox News Digital: "I answered the questions very directly and the financial statements speak for themselves — they are fantastic financial statements."

"He is just a clubhouse politician. This country is becoming worse than Russia ever was. They are doing this because I am beating Biden in the polls by so much," Trump told Fox News Digital. "They are trying to stop me, but they will not be successful."

He added: "I'm fighting for America. I'm fighting for the people."

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