The judge for Donald Trump's $250 million New York business-fraud trial has set a grueling three-month schedule.
Testimony will run five days a week, October 2 to December 22, Justice Arthur Engoron estimated.
Lawyers for Trump and 14 co-defendants in the civil trial must share 120 minutes for opening statements.
Donald Trump will have to wait until Christmas or beyond to learn the fate of the Trump Organization, his Manhattan-based, multi-billion-dollar real-estate and golf-resort empire.
The judge who will preside over an upcoming $250 million civil fraud trial — at which New York Attorney General Letitia James will seek to permanently ban Trump's company from the state — has set a grueling three-month schedule.
The non-jury trial will go five days a week starting October 2 and ending by December 22, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron estimated in a newly-public timetable.
The schedule was revealed Friday, as part of a document hailstorm of more than 160 pretrial court filings that included a new accusation from James that Trump exaggerated his wealth in financial filings by $3.6 billion — over a billion more than she'd previously revealed.
Lawyers for the attorney general will have 90 minutes to make an opening statement. Lawyers for Trump and 14 co-defendants must share a total of 120 minutes for opening statements.
Once the trial ends, both sides will have the opportunity to submit post-trial briefs, "setting forth proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law on a schedule to be determined by the Court," the judge wrote — meaning that if the trial goes all the way up to Christmas, a final resolution might not come until after the New Year.
The judge did not indicate how quickly after the submission of post-trial briefs he expects to rule.
It's no surprise the trial will be a lengthy one. The evidence includes 1.7 million documents, including 900,000 subpoenaed from the Trump Organization.
Of those, only a paltry 10 documents were turned over by Trump himself. The attorney general has repeatedly complained that Trump defied subpoenas for his personal business documents in the case, and suggested last month that she'll seek penalties for the destruction of evidence.
James has asked the judge for stiff penalties, including permanently revoking the Trump Organization's charter to operate as a New York corporation and clawing back $250 million in interest savings and transaction profits she says resulted from his fraudulent math. She also wants to bar Trump and his company from purchasing real estate in New York state for five years.
James is alleging that throughout the past decade, Trump and senior Trump Organization management — including sons Donald Trump, Jr., and Eric Trump, both vice presidents — falsely inflated the value of his properties in financial filings, larding each filing with hundreds of exaggerations totaling billions of dollars.
By exaggerating the worth of his collateral, these annual filings convinced banks to lend Trump money on more favorable terms, letting him pocket hundreds of millions of dollars in interest savings and other profits, the attorney general alleges.
Trump has denied his financial statements contain falsehoods.
According to a transcript of his seven-hour court-ordered deposition, released last week, Trump told James and her lawyers that he's had "virtually" no role in the company since 2015, and that banks made millions by lending to him and so were not harmed.
He also said that Trump Organization financial statements included a disclaimer warning lenders to double-check his math, essentially immunizing him from claims of fraud — an argument he's made often since James' lawsuit was filed a year ago, and which James says is meaningless.
The parties are scheduled to appear in Engoron's Manhattan courtroom on September 22 for pretrial arguments.
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