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  • Robert Farago

Politics Trumps Trump

Judge Engoron Hangs Donald Trump Out to Dry

Tens of millions of Americans will never see Donald Trump as a victim. The former president does nothing to change that opinion, and much to validate it.

Many of those who oppose Trump with a passion undimmed view capitalism in a Marxist context. In other words, it’s a bad, bad thing. Executives deserve whatever penalties, fines and/or regulations they get.

Donald Trump sits smack dab in the middle of that Venn diagram. Which brings us to…

Trump’s Corporate Death Sentence

The judge in Trump’s fraud case went to town on the real estate mogul’s finances.

“The amount he will have to put up will be in excess of $450 million, just to appeal,” a person familiar with the case told The Post… Engoron’s ruling slapped a 9% interest charge on top of Trump’s fine, which will accrue daily until it’s paid. And Trump will have to collect the money fast: he has just 30 days to come up with the cash, or to find a surety company to guarantee it for him – using some of his properties as collateral. No bank that does business in New York is permitted to lend to the former president, under the terms of Engoron’s ruling.

Evoking a rarely used provision of the law, the judge also ordered that Trump hand over some of his properties to independent receivers, who can sell them as the court sees fit.

Trump didn’t Enron retirees out of their life savings. Deutsche Bank did due diligence on Trump’s valuation. Trump repaid the bank in full. The judge awarded $0 in damages.

Bottom line: there’s no actual victim here, save you-know-who. But there is collateral damage…


Regardless of the ruling’s effect on the Republican candidate’s presidential prospects, its underlying anti-business animus has sent a shiver down the spine of New York’s business community, especially real estate developers.

“Spinning” the value of a property when applying for a loan against that property is standard operating procedure. The applicant and the bank negotiate its “true” value downwards, draw-up papers and get on with it.

Shark Tank biz brain Kevin O’Leary is making the media rounds trumpeting WTF?

“You might as well find guilty every real estate developer on Earth. If this judgment sticks, every developer must be jailed. They must be found guilty. They must be put out of business.”

Financial commentator Charles Gasparino sees the Trump decree as the straw that breaks the Empire State capitalist camel’s back.

That’s word I’m getting from top executives at financial services firms, who paid close attention to the Trump case because of its broad implications for their businesses. They know they could be next — unless of course, they get out of Gotham, and fast. The C-suiters also see the state’s dicey politics, the leftists running the state Legislature, the ineffectual governor seemingly powerless to reverse laws that are making New York ­unlivable.

The Business of America

"The chief business of the American people is business,” President Calvin Coolidge told the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1925. It was not an insult.

He wasn’t wrong then and he’s not wrong now. And it’s still not an insult. Well, it shouldn’t be. Guardrails, yes. Jihad, no.

Taking Trump to the woodshed for a technical infraction that caused no financial harm does nothing to put a dent in his presidential aspirations. In fact, it provides ammo to the millions who do see Donald Trump as a victim.

So what, exactly, was the point of the Engoron’s egregious decree? Motivate the Democratic base? Burnish the judge’s rep amongst his peers and social set? I’d really like to know. Meanwhile…

Anti-Anti Trump

This turn of events leaves me in a strange position. I’m not pro-Trump, but I’m solidly anti-anti-Trump.

Call me a MAGA simp, but I’m convinced the Powers That Be will do anything to prevent The Donald from becoming President again. For them, lawfare is fair game.

My lawyer friend John says Donald Trump’s prosecution/persecution reflects a dangerous shift in the use and abuse of the legal system.

“Lawfare used be a game determined by board room decisions, not political affiliations,” he asserts.

No one should be above the law. Not even the law. As the judge will, hopefully, discover upon appeal. Watch this space.



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