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A judge says Trump is liable for fraud in New York civil lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Sept. 25, 2023 in Summerville, S.C.
Sean Rayford
/
Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Sept. 25, 2023 in Summerville, S.C.

Updated September 27, 2023 at 12:17 PM ET

A judge in New York has ordered that former President Donald Trump, his eldest sons and his business associates committed fraud.

Judge Arthur Engoron issued an order Tuesday granting partial summary judgment in the lawsuit filed by New York's Democratic Attorney General Letitia James.

After a three-year investigation, James filed this lawsuit last September claiming Trump and his executive team engaged in fraudulent business practices including inflating the value of Trump's business and the market value of his real estate holdings in New York state and in Florida.

In a series of posts Wednesday morning, Trump took to social media on criticizing the Engoron's decision and calling him a "Deranged, Trump Hating Judge." Trump's criticism of Engoron and James echoed other statements he's made against prosecutors and judges in his other criminal cases, calling James "racist" and that the case is "politically motivated."

Engoron agreed with prosecutors that Trump and his associates exaggerated the former president's net worth in order to complete deals and receive more financing.

As part of his decision, Engoron ordered the business licenses of the defendants to be canceled in New York — making it potentially difficult for them to continue working in the state. He also ordered the continuation of an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization.

Trump maintained the value of his Florida real estate in his statements Wednesday.

"I am worth billions more than my very conservatively stated financial statements, and therefore could not have defrauded the banks, who all made money & were all," Trump claimed.

In response to the ruling, Trump's son Eric — a Trump Organization executive and defendant in the lawsuit — called it "corrupt and coordinated,"and said it was an attempt "to destroy my father and kick him out of New York."

Though Judge Engoron ruled on some of the major elements of James' suit against Trump and his associates, there remain six other claims that will be argued at trial.

Trump said in his statement that the judge was "denying me everything, No Trial, No Jury."

In fact, the first day of James' civil trial is set to begin on Monday, barring any delays.

James is still seeking roughly $250 million in penalties.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz