The news broke earlier tonight, and I've been feasting on the schadenfreude ever since. The judge overseeing the New York case vs. donald trump and his Trump Org issued a summary judgment that apparently nukes his corporate empire from orbit (via Michael R Sisak at AP News):
Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing loans.
Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee Trump Organization operations...
Engoron’s ruling, days before the start of a non-jury trial in James’ lawsuit, is the strongest repudiation yet of Trump’s carefully coiffed image as a wealthy and shrewd real estate mogul turned political powerhouse.
Beyond mere bragging about his riches, Trump, his company and key executives repeatedly lied about them on his annual financial statements, reaping rewards such as favorable loan terms and lower insurance costs, Engoron found.
Those tactics crossed a line and violated the law, the judge said, rejecting Trump’s contention that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of any wrongdoing.
“In defendants’ world: rent regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air; a disclaimer by one party casting responsibility on another party exonerates the other party’s lies,” Engoron wrote in his 35-page ruling. “That is a fantasy world, not the real world.”
trump is, obviously, railing on social media that the ruling is "unfair" and "un-American," but the judge isn't going by trump's words he's going by trump's actions, and trump kept acting fraudulent enough to earn this summary judgment (link to court papers).
There's still a trial: This ruling covered a portion of AG James' case against trump. The imposition of more penalties - to the tune of $250 million - is up to a jury to decide, and it's looking like that part of the case starts this October 2nd.
(breaks out the celebratory whiskey) Wait, I don't drink. Anybody else like whiskey...?
From what I gather, this ruling - and whatever comes of the penalty phase - means trump and his sons - Ivanka somehow avoided getting meshed into this civil case - will be blocked from any and all business dealings in the state of New York. An inability to maintain a financial corporate empire would/should/could undercut any attempt by trump and his lackeys to perpetuate any grifts and con games. I'm not fully versed on the law, so obviously I will follow up with someone - likely Emptywheel - who is.
In the meantime, trump once again lost a major judicial matter. He's not made of Teflon when it comes to the law, and his failings will continue to pile up as his sins are an affront to all of Heaven and Humanity.