Former president Donald Trump arrived in New York on Sunday night, just hours before the start of the civil fraud trial against him and his company, the Trump Organization, which is being pursued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is seeking $250 million for allegedly inflating the value of his properties and businesses to obtain loans and tax benefits.
The Republican was seen entering Trump Tower, one of the assets that could be forced to be relinquished if he loses the case, around 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, after campaigning for his 2024 presidential run in Iowa.
On his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump lashed out at Attorney General James and Judge Arthur Engoron, who will preside over the trial, accusing them of being “corrupt,” “racist,” and “deranged” in their “hunt” against him, as reported by the New York Post.
The trial is expected to last about three months and will begin at 10 a.m. with opening statements from both sides. Trump and his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, as well as his former lawyer Michael Cohen, are listed as potential witnesses.
James has claimed that Trump and his company repeatedly lied and overvalued their assets in financial statements to obtain large loans and conduct business. According to the attorney general, Trump inflated his wealth by up to $3.6 billion.
One of the most striking examples is Trump’s three-story penthouse in Trump Tower, which is decorated with gold-plated figures. According to James, Trump claimed the apartment was nearly three times larger than it actually is and valued it at $327 million. No apartment in New York City has ever been sold for that price.
Engoron has already ruled that Trump conducted a years-long fraud scheme by lying on company documents to inflate the value of his assets, the main claim of the lawsuit before the trial began.
The ruling on Tuesday also revoked Trump’s business licenses in the Big Apple and could force him to surrender his properties in New York, including Trump Tower.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has said that his financial statements have a liability disclaimer that absolves him of any possible errors. He has called the sanctions “corporate death penalty” and has denounced it as political persecution.
Engoron will rule on the remaining six claims in James’ lawsuit after the trial.
James’ lawsuit is one of four separate cases where Trump has been accused: in four different states: New York, Florida, Washington D.C., and Georgia. He is charged in a “hush money” case in the Big Apple, accused of mishandling confidential national security documents in Florida, and accused of interfering with the outcome of the 2020 elections in cases in Georgia and D.C.