Donald Trump: New York appeals court halts the process of breaking up Trump's businesses but rejects halting the trial


A New York appeals court judge on Friday rejected Donald Trump’s attempt to stop the ongoing $250 million civil fraud trial, but temporarily halted the process of breaking up his businesses.

Associate Justice Peter Moulton issued the ruling after a brief hearing Friday afternoon.

Trump asked the appeals court to put the civil fraud trial on hold pending the appeal of Judge Arthur Engoron’s surprise summary judgment order last week that said the former president is liable for fraud. Trump also asked to put the underlying ruling itself on hold, saying it will cause “severe and irreparable harm not only to Appellants but to innocent nonparties and employees who depend on the affected entities for their livelihoods.”

New York Supreme Court Judge Engoron last week ruled that Trump and his co-defendants committed “persistent and repeated fraud,” and must cancel business certificates for many Trump entities,

The “Supreme Court clearly does not comprehend the scope of the chaos its decision has wrought,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

“Terminating non-party business licenses without jurisdiction, without process, without statutory authority, without trial, and without reason renders impossible the lawful operation of multiple businesses and threatens termination of hundreds of New York employees without any jurisdiction or due process,” the filing states.

“We’re not seeking delay. We’re not seeking anything but a fair trial and these errors permeate the ongoing trial,” Trump attorney Christopher Kise said in court Friday, referring to “an avalanche of errors” in the summary judgment ruling.

The New York Attorney General’s office opposed the request, saying Trump and the other defendants are attempting “to sow chaos by disrupting an ongoing trial that has now been going for a week. Yet defendants fail to point to any purported irreparable harm from proceeding with a trial that has already begun.”

The attorney general’s office also criticized Trump’s team for waiting days into trial testimony to file the stay request.

“And tellingly, they waited until after Mr. Trump decided to stop attending the trial,” the letter says. Trump attended the first three days of the trial and has returned to Florida.

The response also says a delay would be disruptive to the court and its witnesses, creating a “cascade of delays in not only this case but also other litigation involving Mr. Trump.”

“If the trial here is delayed at all, there is a significant risk that defendants will request further delays of trial based on the deadlines in these other cases. Indeed, defendants already appear to be attempting to play one court against the other,” the motion reads.

With regard to Trump’s request to pause Engoron’s summary judgment, the attorney general stressed it has “informed defendants of its willingness to discuss staying enforcement of portions of that relief pending trial and entry of final judgment, provided that the trial continues to move forward.”

The judge this week ordered Trump to propose potential receivers by October 26, which would begin the process of dissolution.

Trump and his co-defendants have not yet agreed to engage in those discussions, the attorney general’s filing adds, saying “there should be no resort to the emergency of this Court when the parties have not even had an opportunity to determine if they can reach an agreement.”

The attorney general’s office says the appellate court should consider the significant court resources arranged for the trial, like “special security arrangements outside and inside the courthouse, many additional security and other court personnel to conduct those security arrangements, and special arrangements to ensure access for the press and public.”

Separately, Trump’s attorneys agreed to drop a lawsuit they filed against Engoron and the New York attorney general.

Trump attorneys and his co-defendants notified the appellate court that they’ve agreed with the New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office to discontinue the suit.

The appellate action, brought in September, asked the appellate court to compel the judge to make a ruling in the civil case or stay the trial until the judge did rule.

Engoron handed down the summary judgment ruling last week, causing the appellate court to deny Trump’s request for a stay as moot because Engoron ruled as they requested.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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