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Trump fraud trial to kick off in New York court

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at a Manhattan courthouse, for the trial of himself, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others in a civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, in New York City, U.S., October 2, 2023. 

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

The $250 million civil fraud trial that could see former President Donald Trump permanently banned from doing business in New York is set to kick off Monday.

The trial comes a year after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued him, his company, three of his adult children, and top Trump Organization officials.

James alleged the defendants misstated the values of real estate properties by billions of dollars in business records to obtain better loan and insurance terms, and tax benefits.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, arrived at Manhattan Supreme Court for the start of the trial. A Secret Service agent surveyed the table where Trump will sit with his defense lawyers.

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James notched a massive win against Trump and other defendants last week when Judge Arthur Engoron ruled they were liable for the fraud claims. Engoron in that ruling canceled the defendants’ New York business certificates and ordered an independent receiver to oversee their dissolution.

Engoron, not a jury, will decide whether the defendants are liable for the other six claims at the trial, which is expected to conclude in late December.

A box is carried as the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump is set to begin at New York State Supreme Court on October 02, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

James, who also plans on being in court Monday morning, in a statement said, “For years, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth to enrich himself and cheat the system.”

“We won the foundation of our case last week and proved that his purported net worth has long been rooted in incredible fraud,” James said. “No matter how rich or powerful you are, there are not two sets of laws for people in this country. The rule of law must apply equally to everyone, and it is my responsibility to make sure that it does.”

In a video message to supporters on Monday morning, Trump said, “Our country is in a very dark place right now. But even after everything the Deep State has done to me, I will never give up an America. Mark my words, in 2024 we will win back the White House.”

“We will make America great again. I have no doubt about it,” Trump said.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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