FOX News contributor Jonathan Turley said the image of former President Donald Trump‘s civil fraud case looks like New York is trying to keep Trump in the courtroom instead of on the campaign trail. Turley said the factors that look good for him are that New York Attorney General Letitia James ran on “bagging Trump,” and there is no indication that any money was lost. He said the way the public perceives the case will work to Trump’s advantage.
JONATHAN TURLEY: Well, I think he’s eager to state the case. I don’t think he will be eager to take the stand. That is a very high risk proposition for any defendant, even in a civil case, and certainly one who’s running for the presidency. I mean, the optics of this case work to his advantage. And I think that some of the merits do. I think that the fact that they’re not alleging that people lost money here, the question about the value of Mar-a-Lago. Those are the types of arguments that do resonate with people. They can understand that.
And many people will be wondering, why do you have this huge production when nobody actually lost money? And that’s largely because of this New York law, which, ironically, was pushed through by Jacob Javits, who became the Republican senator from New York when he was holding the position that James is holding now. But in many respects, this case has everything Trump wants to concentrate the mind of the public.
You’ve got an attorney general who ran on bagging Donald Trump, was not concerned about what she would find or what she would charge on. She ran with the pledge that she would get Donald Trump. You’ve got a case in which there’s no indication that money was lost, where you don’t have the victims as the banks, for example. But the optics here are really good for Trump and he knows it. And even the image of his being brought into yet another New York courtroom leaves this impression of prosecutors daisy-chaining cases to keep him in court rather than being on the campaign trail. Now, having said that, I still can’t believe that he’s really going to go from soup to nuts on this case because there’s going to be a lot of time in a courtroom for a guy who’s running for the presidency.
Former President Trump defended his business and his name Monday morning before the “disgrace” of a civil trial against him stemming from “corrupt” New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, saying his financial statements are “phenomenal,” and blasting the “rogue” judge presiding over the proceedings for interfering in the 2024 presidential election.
The former president, who currently leads the 2024 Republican presidential primary field by a massive margin, arrived in court in lower Manhattan Monday morning for a non-jury trial, presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron, after a New York State Appeals Court rejected Trump’s request to delay the civil trial.
Engoron last week ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.
Engoron’s ruling comes after James sued Trump, his children and the Trump Organization, alleging that Trump “inflated his net worth by billions of dollars” and said his children helped him to do so.
Trump, speaking to reporters before entering the courtroom, blasted the trial as “a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time.”
FOX News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
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