New York attorney general could soon move to seize Trump’s property | Donald Trump

Attorneys in the New York attorney general’s office have written to the state appeals court dealing with Donald Trump’s punishment for business fraud to say that they should disregard the former president’s claims that he cannot raise a bond to cover his massive fine.

Letitia James, the attorney general, could initiate action to seize Trump assets as soon as Monday, coinciding with Trump’s deadline to acquire the $454m bond demanded to cover the civil fraud judgment during his appeal process.

Not long after the letter landed, Trump’s election campaign called for donations from one million of his backers, warning he could lose his New York properties.

“Keep your filthy hands off of Trump Tower!” reads a message to supporters from a joint fundraising committee that allocates the money it collects to his campaign and a separate political committee that has been paying Trump’s legal bills.

The New York Post reported on Wednesday, citing friends of Trump, that he might let Monday’s deadline pass and leave it to James to make her move, including pursuing his flagship Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where he worked before becoming president, announcing his first run for the White House after descending on the golden escalator at the skyscraper.

Trump’s lawyers said two days ago that to post a bond covering the full amount of the $454m civil fraud judgment against him while he appeals was “a practical impossibility” after 30 surety companies turned him down.

James’s office expressed skepticism with the timing and nature of Trump’s claim, in the letter sent by Dennis Fan, senior assistant solicitor general, as first reported by CNN.

Trump maintains he is worth several billion dollars and testified last year that he had about $400m in cash, in addition to properties and other investments.

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He has appealed against a judgment earlier this year from Judge Arthur Engoron, who found that Trump, his company, the Trump Organization, and top executives, including his sons Eric and Donald Jr, schemed for years to deceive banks and insurers by inflating his wealth on financial statements used to secure loans and make deals.

Engoron ordered Trump to pay a fine of $355m plus interest – pushing the penalty to more than $450m at the time of the ruling, with another $112,000 in interest accruing daily, which needs a bond during the appeals process. That is on top of the January order that Trump pay $83.3m – on top of $5m awarded by a jury last year – to the writer E Jean Carroll, for defaming her during her civil case that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, compounding his financial troubles.

James has said she would not hesitate to seize Trump’s buildings, including his 40 Wall Street skyscraper in the financial district of lower Manhattan, saying she considers it “each and every day”. She has not mentioned the uptown Trump Tower.

Trump’s latest campaign plea said: “Before the day is over, I’m calling on one million pro-Trump patriots to chip in.”

Reuters contributed reporting

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