Trump trial analysis: Democrats destroying democracy to ‘save democracy’

31
650

By RICHARD PORTER

The news broke in quick succession: New York’s district attorney, a Democrat, will attempt to jail Donald Trump in a trial starting next month; a Democratic Party judge ordered Trump and his affiliates to “disgorge” $450 million in a novel civil case brought by New York’s Democratic attorney general—and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in a Siberian prison.  

Democrats want to strip Trump of his assets and send him to jail to die like Navalny; that’s how ruthless they have become. Why? Donald Trump represents a democratic threat to Democrats – their power, their narratives, their culture, and their coalition. So, Democrats decided to wage war in the friendly confines of their home courts to destroy their nemesis and short-circuit democracy.  

Justice Arthur F. Engoron’s opinion in the civil action brought by Attorney General Letitia James is premised on the idea that Trump fraudulently obtained lower rates on money he borrowed by offering lenders recourse to more of his assets, some of which he overstated.

Engoron glosses over the most salient fact of this case – there was no victim – and he does so in a decidedly schoolmarmish preface: “Timely and total repayment of loans does not extinguish the harm that false statements inflict on the marketplace,” the judge wrote in his order. Without bothering to do much explaining regarding this expansive theory, the judge added, “Here, despite the false financial statements, it is undisputed that defendants have made all required payments on time.”

So, then, a $450 million fine for inflating the size of Donald Trump’s portfolio. It makes one wonder what the judge would have ordered if Trump had defaulted. Summary execution?

Deutsche Bank offered Trump two credit options: nonrecourse and full recourse. When Trump borrowed to renovate the Old Post Office in D.C., the Doral in Miami, and to build the iconic Trump Tower in Chicago, Deutsche offered Trump a credit facility that would be secured only by that project. A nonrecourse loan is riskier for the lenders, safer for Trump, and therefore carried a much higher interest rate.

Deutsche Bank also offered Trump a full recourse credit facility for each project, backed by a personal guarantee from Donald Trump and his various entities. This is a safer loan for lenders because it is backed by more assets, riskier for Trump (because he put the whole empire on the line for each of these projects), and so carried a much lower interest rate. 

Trump chose to put all of his assets at risk in exchange for the lower interest rate. Therefore, the bank wanted more information, and had covenants in the loan, about his other assets too.

The judge held that Trump and his affiliates overstated the value of certain of his assets, and therefore suggests (without corroborating testimony in his 92-page opinion) that Deutsche would not have offered the full recourse loans but for the overstatement of these particular assets.   

It’s not disputed that Trump had other assets or that his net worth on a conservative basis runs into the billions. However, the value of Trump’s assets, almost all of which are privately held and for which there is not a ready market, is a matter of judgment. Not surprisingly, promoters ascribe higher values to their own assets and ideas – and Trump is a promoter.  

Deutsche Bank’s witnesses testified that the bank assumed the value of the assets and liabilities were “broadly accurate,” then assumed Trump’s aggregate asset portfolio was worth one half of its stated value (and one asset, which the judge also held was significantly overvalued, was only worth 25% of its stated value) before agreeing to proceed with the full recourse loan.  

The judge held that the New York AG (who campaigned on going after Trump) was not required to show either that the overstatement of particular assets was material to the lender or to the overall value of his assets, or that the lenders actually relied on the statements. On the other hand, the judge asserts that “the frauds found here leap off the page and shock the conscience” – his conscience, but not the banks’.

Remember: No one in these deals alleged fraud; the loans were paid off and everyone in the deal made money; Trump still had billions in assets backing his guaranty after writing down asset values that were misstated; and the bank assumed the value was half what he said anyway.

It shocks millions of Americans that a Democrat who ran for attorney general promising to go after a Republican president of the United States is allowed to use the power of the state to go after political opponents, and then take nearly half a billion dollars without proving any financial harm from the misstatements. 

The judge arrived at the high “disgorgement” amount by holding both that the bank would not have made a full recourse loan, but would have only made the higher risk, higher cost, nonrecourse loan, and that the deals would not have happened at all but for the fraud – ordering as disgorgement both what interest would have been at the higher rates and all the profits Trump earned on the sale of two of the successful projects.

Further, the judge enjoined Trump and others from serving as officers or directors of any New York corporation or any legal entity in New York for three years – and prohibits Trump and his companies from applying for any loans for three years, which forces the Trump Organization to sell to cover the extraordinary damages found in this case.

And just like that, the N.Y. Democrats have taken a step toward stripping him of his wealth. But, there’s more to come.  

Next up in just over a month, another Democrat prosecutor will try to take away his freedom and put him in jail in a “home court” venue, with two more Democrats standing by in “home court” venues hoping for their shot at putting Trump in the gulag.

All of these cases involve novel theories that break new ground – and that also cause tens of millions of Americans to question the good faith of Trump’s opponents generally, the neutrality of courts, and the rule of law itself.

Navalny died a martyr for democracy; his death stains Putin. Democrats enamored with using the law for partisan purposes should beware: Trump’s a promoter, his opponents are venomous, and their tactics are perniciously undemocratic; and the American people are watching.

Richard Porter is a lawyer in Chicago and National Committeeman to the RNC from Illinois. This analysis first appeared in Read Clear Politics and is reprinted with permission of the author.

31 COMMENTS

  1. OK for Trump to campaign on going against his enemies if he is elected, but not Democrats? What is good for the goose is good for the gander, and the gander is finally getting the roasting it deserves

    • Sorry, maybe I missed it, but when did Trump say he was going to go against his enemies?
      Surely you are not thinking that comment about “dictator for a day” was serious? Oh… wait, you probably did.

    • The consensus view of the Left is that democracy cannot function if people who disagree with them are allowed to participate in it.
      Combine this with the Left’s adherents routinely operating in an alternate reality consisting of a constant state of grievances, and you can see how the Left is driven to obsessively and vigilantly cling to their irrationally justified moral-imperative to “protect our democracy” from the phantasm they perceive is a constant existential threat coming from the non-Left. Madness.

    • Frank, Trump has enemies and so do the American people. I see legions of enemies ensconced within the Federal bureaucracy that need to be purged. Its not about the Carnival Barker Trump, anymore Frank, its about the Constitution and the rule of law.

      You can take heart though Frankie, T as President showed great restraint in application of executive orders, and respect for the courts unlike your boy Biden. Beyond that, Trump isn’t likely to get much accomplished other than a slight course correction and keeping us out of a full on war.

  2. At least Stalin had the decency to charge his political enemies with actual crimes on the books, not some made-up as you go mumbo jumbo. “Judge” Endgoron must arrive at his rulings from the clown trunk from the Mets kangaroo court. But, that may not be fair to clowns or the Mets.

  3. 1-Please tone down the hyperbole. They don’t want Trump to die in prison and know it would never happen.
    Hysteria isn’t helpful.

    2-The point of this case is to break Trump financially and make it impossible for him to continue running. It’s also to hang a scarlet letter on him. This is why Hailey continues to hang around.

    3-While the case has more holes than Swiss cheese, it also has very dubious Constitutional challenges. If Trumps lawyers are competent, they will be demanding 1) an injunction against this 2) SCOTUS intervention. The fact that Hotchul (sp?) had to come out and say to the business world this isn’t something for anyone else to worry about is a strong indication of selective enforcement. The 8th Amendment may be in play, but it’s probably a soft argument.

    4-NY is sending a clear signal. Want to do business in NY? Play nice, donate to the right people, don’t oppose the Democrats. I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a steady exodus of businesses who can leave.

    4-

    • Yeah, similar thoughts on Hochul’s statement.
      Its been pointed out that inflation of property values is common practice in real estate and that banks do their own independent assessment. Sounds like in practice its more of a negotiation between the bank and the applicant. People disagree on the value of assets all the time, especially when transacting.

      The case against Trump, in theory, means New York should also be prosecuting other real estate developers as well. Hochul’s statement is the wink-wink-nod to let them know that they are only using the law as a crowbar to ‘get Trump’ – other developers can continue the ‘illegal’ practice and they won’t be ruined – as long as they stay on the ‘correct’ (ie: globohomo) side of politics.

          • You’re denser than usual. Look up his payment of the loans in question.

            It’s amazing how you either see pinpricks or planet wide. But never the issue at hand.

    • “They don’t want Trump to die in prison and know it would never happen.”…Want to bet your life on that? Will they fall short and just shrug their shoulders and walk away? “By any means” is in play. If you dismiss that “final solution” then be ready for a shocker.

  4. I worked in the Alaska legal system for many years, many years ago. I’ve never seen anyone get so badly railroaded in my life.

    Trump 2024.

  5. Well, when the Governor of NY tells businesses not to flee the state, because they are not going to charge them the same way they charged Trump (for doing EXACTLY the same thing by the way. Show me any business that does not inflate the value of their assets on a loan application.)
    .
    Can you say “we are using lawfare to destroy Trump” without saying you are using lawfare? NY Gov Hochul just did.

  6. The complete perversion of law. Worse than the prosecutor and judge is the defending silence from our own representatives, the rest of the legal system and the majority of government directed MSM propaganda. I expect after the election the division of the nation will be even more apparent, no one will believe it, if fjb wins he will have to cheat again, the numbers are clear, if Trump wins the left will go complete three yo tantrum and create the chaos they did in 2016 times one hundred. Prepare yourselves.

  7. MRAKers and other supporters of civil and criminal defendant Trump: Trump broke about ten thousand million laws. He is a thief, a crook and a traitor. He is NOT being investigated, indicted (and found guilty in three cases already) because he is running for re-election. He is NOT being persecuted, NOT the victim, and NOT NEVER the good guy in this disaster he has poisoned us with.

      • I could easily debunk everything he posted, but I’m old and it’s not worth my time.

        Fully half the reason I hope Trump wins is knowing people like him will eat their own livers and soil themselves.

  8. Should there be penalty for borough tax assessors for inaccurately assessing property, shifting tax burden to another segment of the population?

  9. Correction to the title of the piece. Democrats aren’t destroying democracy to get Trump. Rather, they just blew up the entire real estate part of the the NY economy in an attempt to get Trump. And they did it right when the commercial real estate market nationwide is crashing due to the combined impact of remote work, legalization of lawlessness by Soros prosecutors like Alvin Bragg, and the injection of nearly 10 million criminals into the US by Dementia Hitler.

    Democrats have become (and perhaps they always were) an organized crime operation. Nice little business you got there, would be a shame if anything happened to it. Cheers –

  10. How repugnant to the US Constitution. This occupant of the judiciary should be removed and retired from public stipends forever.

Comments are closed.