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 February 18, 2024

Judge targets Trump, but Melania might get the last laugh

New York Judge Arthur Engoron targeted members of former President Donald Trump's family with his recent ruling in the civil fraud trial. 

Engoron, Fox News reports, fined Trump over $450 million and barred him from operating a business in the state of New York for a period of three years for supposedly overvaluing assets on bank loan documents.

This, in itself, will be likely to have an indirect effect on all immediate members of the Trump family, including former First Lady Melania Trump.

But, Engoron also targeted other members of the Trump family more directly.

The details

Engoron has ordered Trump's two sons - Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump - to each pay $4 million in penalties. The judge also barred them from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or legal entity for two years.

CNN reports:

Trump's adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric – who’ve essentially run the Trump Organization since 2017 – have been ordered to pay $4 million each for personal profits from the fraud and are barred from serving as executives in New York for two years.

The ruling is even more harsh for some Trump associates.

Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, for example, has been permanently barred from holding certain positions in New York companies.

Trump and his legal team have made it very clear that they will appeal Engoron's ruling. Whether or not they will get a fairer shake at the appellate level, though, is unclear.

Malenia to the rescue?

Some commentators believe that Melania Trump could help to save her husband and his New York businesses.

Newsweek reports:

Trump's businesses could be saved by his other family members, however, such as wife Melania Trump or eldest daughter Ivanka, who left the family company in 2017 to serve in Trump's White House. Legal experts previously assessed that the former president would be able to hold on to his properties even if barred from conducting business by transferring his company to his family members not included in James' case.

The outlet goes on to quote West Coast Trial Lawyers President Neama Rahmani as explaining how Trump can get around Engoron's ruling.

Newsweek reports:

Rahmani noted that the reverse of Enogoron's previous cancellation of Trump's business licenses was the former president's "only win," adding that if Trump "needs a family member to serve as a director or officer to run the business, Melania or Ivanka can fill those roles."

If true, it would appear that Trump will be able to avoid the worst of Engoron's ruling even if he cannot get the ruling reversed on appeal.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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