Trump posts $91 million bond and files notice to appeal in E. Jean Carroll case

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Attorneys for former President Donald Trump filed official notice Friday they’re appealing the $83 million defamation verdict awarded to writer E. Jean Carroll — and that they’ve posted the $91 million bond needed to keep her from collecting while the appeal plays out.

The lawyers asked the judge in a court filing for an order approving the $91,630,000 bond and staying execution of Carroll’s judgment.

The terms of the bond — and how much money or collateral Trump put down — are unclear. The source of the bond is the Federal Insurance Company, a corporation authorized to transact business in New York. They are based in Chesapeake, Virginia and New Jersey and the company appears to be a subsidiary of Chubb Insurance Company. The document is signed by the former president. 

The filing came as a surprise because Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly asked the judge for more time to post the bond and to reduce the amount. The bond was needed to prevent Carroll from moving to collect on the judgment during the pendency of the appeal, which could take months or even years. It’s greater than the amount of the actual verdict to account for New York’s 9% annual interest rate.

The automatic stay of the judgment was set to expire Monday, at which point Carroll’s attorneys could have moved to start collecting the money she was awarded for Trump’s having defamed her when he was president and then after she received a separate $5 million judgment against him last year. He’s appealing that verdict also, and posted a bond for that judgment last year.

Court documents show Trump signed the new bond agreement on Tuesday, and the attorney for FIC signed it on Wednesday — the same day that Trump’s lawyers filed a letter asking the judge to stay the judgment for three days after he rules on their previous request for stay, which he has yet to do.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected that request in an order Thursday and chided Trump for trying to rush his ruling. “Mr. Trump’s current situation is a result of his own dilatory actions. He has had since January 26 to organize his finances with the knowledge that he might need to bond this judgment, yet he waited until 25 days after the jury verdict” and shortly before the expiration of the automatic stay to seek relief, the judge wrote.

Trump is facing a similar — and larger — issue in New York state court, where he was hit last month with a $464 million civil fraud judgment.

Trump’s attorneys have asked an appeals court to reduce the size of the bond he has to post in that case, a request that was rejected by the judge who heard the case. “To account for post-judgment interest and appeal cost, a surety will often set the bond amount at 120% of the judgment or more,” Trump attorney Clifford Robert wrote in a filing to the appeals court. That would total well over $500 million.

A single judge from the state Appellate Division last month denied Trump’s request to reduce the size of the bond to $100 million, but set an expedited briefing schedule for Trump’s stay motion. That leaves open the possibility that a full panel of judges could act before Trump has to file the bond.

The current deadline for him to file is March 25 — the same day jury selection is set to begin in Trump’s criminal trial in New York state court. He’s charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to hush money payments that were paid to a porn star in the closing days of the 2016 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

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