Trump’s bond reduced on account of ‘impossible’ figure

The New York State Court of Appeals decided on Monday that former President Donald Trump must provide a reduced $175 million bond in his civil fraud case by the end of next week. This ruling comes as a blessing for the Trump legal team after the former president failed to post the original figure of $454 million by Monday’s deadline.

Trump lawyers had pleaded for a lower amount, claiming that the original half-billion figure was “impossible” to obtain by Monday. The former president, who faces severe financial burden, had been turned down by more than 30 surety companies and was unlikely to obtain the full bond. The ruling was decided by a panel of five appellate judges and saved Trump from the possibility of having his property and bank accounts seized by the state of New York.

The ruling also resulted in the pause of other key penalties imposed against Trump, such as those regarding his ability to conduct business in New York. The appeals court did, however, sustain the order of an independent monitor, which will observe the Trump Organization’s business dealings. 

Monday also marked the original start date for the former president’s criminal trial in New York, which was delayed by judge Juan Merchan in order to grant Manhattan District Attorney prosecutors and Trump’s legal team more time to review documents. This delay fits in with a broader Trump legal strategy to intentionally delay and appeal the former president’s criminal trials, of which he faces four separate indictments.

Many have speculated that Trump’s goal is to hold out until the 2024 presidential election in the hopes of claiming victory, as the legal immunity of a sitting president is disputed. He’s seen such success in his other indictments such as the Georgia racketeering case and special counsel Jack Smith’s federal investigation regarding his handling of classified documents, both of which have been delayed.

Aside from consuming Trump’s time, many question the financial strain the legal battles have imposed on the former president. In addition to the bond Trump must come up with for his civil fraud case, he also posted a more than $90 million bond in early March in the E. Jean Carroll case, where he was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming the writer. The Trump legal team is also in the process of appealing this case.

Questions have also arisen from the former president’s use of campaign donations to cover legal fees. A large source of Trump’s donations, Save America PAC, spent $24 million on “legal consulting” in the second half of last year alone. The funds went towards the purposes of paying Trump’s many lawyers and various legal fees, among other uses. While this action likely doesn’t violate campaign finance laws, it has the potential to create uncertainty and distrust among Trump’s donors.

Although the appeals court’s ruling serves as a minor victory to the Trump legal team, it’s one of many legal hurdles the former president will attempt to overcome as he faces multiple criminal indictments amidst an uncertain election cycle.


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