Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued that New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron are “inventing losses no one ever suffered” to try to “get Trump.”
This week, former President Donald Trump testified in the civil fraud case brought by James alleging that he and the Trump Organization inflated the values of his properties to secure more favorable loan terms.
James wants $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump and his company doing business in New York.
Before testifying Monday, Trump told reporters that his company’s financial statements were “very conservative,” adding, “So therefore there’s no fraud.”
Further, the 45th president explained that his property valuations have a “big disclaimer clause” instructing would-be lenders to do their own due diligence to determine what they believe the assets are worth.
After testifying, Trump said, “There’s no case here. There are no victims. The banks aren’t a victim. The insurance companies aren’t a victim. Everybody got paid.”
“The attorney general of this state is a disgrace. Letitia James is a disgrace to our country and to the state of New York,” Trump added.
“She should focus on all of the violent crimes and the murder going on in New York, not on somebody who paid back the banks in full without a default and in many cases paid them back early,” he said.
In September, Engoron ruled by summary judgment — meaning before there was any trial — that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud against lenders and insurers by inflating the values of the company’s properties.
The judge is now holding a non-jury trial to decide what penalties he should impose on the former president and the Trump Organization.
Last week, James’ attorneys called a bank expert who testified that the Trump Organization saved $168 million in loan interest payments by not accurately stating the value of its properties.
McCarthy is not buying it.
“Patently, there are flaws in the James-Engoron theory,” he wrote in a National Review article published Tuesday.
“First, if there were proof that Trump had ripped banks off in this manner and to this extent, this would have been a huge criminal case that no prosecutor’s office would pass up — certainly not the famously aggressive feds in the Southern District of New York (where I worked for two decades),” McCarthy said.
He continued, “and certainly not the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which twice litigated all the way to the Supreme Court to get Trump’s financial records, and which was not too embarrassed to bring a ludicrous indictment over the comparative chump change ($130,000) in hush-money Trump paid to a porn star.”
McCarthy went on to argue, as Trump has, that “banks in high-end lending are sophisticated financial actors who do not take the debtor’s word for it when it comes to valuing assets — they have entire departments of experienced appraisers assessing values.”
So he asserted that the banks were not tricked into loaning money to the Trump Organization.
To put a nail in the coffin of the case, McCarthy noted that even if Trump’s properties were overvalued, “there is no evidence that the banks would have charged a higher interest rate.”
He explained that the banks set the terms of their loans based on multiple factors, such as Trump’s history of paying up, the knowledge that he could shop around for other banks if their interest rates were too high, and the fact that they’re in the business of making loans to earn money.
McCarthy further observed that if the banks truly felt Trump had defrauded them out of millions of dollars, they would have sued him and the Trump Organization themselves.
The former prosecutor concluded, “It’s an amazing thing to watch: Donald Trump, front-runner in the Republican presidential nomination race, is on trial for supposedly inventing wealth that he didn’t have; and in order to nail him, elected Democrats Tish James and Arthur Engoron are inventing losses that no one ever suffered.”
Trump’s legal team sought a directed verdict on Thursday, asking Engoron to dismiss the case based on evidence presented at trial, including Trump’s testimony on Monday.
Trump’s attorney Christopher Kise argued that state lawyers had failed to meet “any legal standard” to prove allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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