Trump has been unable to get bond for $464 million judgment, his lawyers say

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Former President Donald Trump has not been able to get a bond to secure the $464 million fraud judgment against him, his lawyers said in a court filing Monday.

Trump and his company need to post a bond for the full amount by next week in order to stop New York Attorney General Letitia James from being able to collect while he appeals. They’ve asked an appeals court to step in in the meantime and said Monday that they have not had any success getting a bond.

“Defendants’ ongoing diligent efforts have proven that a bond in the judgment’s full amount is ‘a practical impossibility,'” the filing said. “These diligent efforts have included approaching about 30 surety companies through 4 separate brokers.”

Their efforts, including “countless hours negotiating with one of the largest insurance companies in the world,” have proven that “obtaining an appeal bond in the full amount” of the Judgment “is not possible under the circumstances presented,” the filing said.

The other bond companies will not “accept hard assets such as real estate as collateral,” but “will only accept cash or cash equivalents (such as marketable securities),” the filing said. He also noted those companies typically “require collateral of approximately 120% of the amount of the judgment” — which would total about $557 million.

“In addition, sureties would likely charge bond premiums of approximately 2 percent per year with two years in advance—an upfront cost over $18 million,” the filing said. That $18 million would not be recoverable even if Trump wins his appeal.

In all, the filing said, the “actual amount of cash or cash equivalents required ‘to collateralize the bond and have sufficient capital to run the business and satisfy its other obligations’ approach[es] $1 billion,” the filing said.

While the filing says Trump can’t afford the bond, it also argues that the attorney general doesn’t have to worry about being able to collect her judgment.

“Defendants’ real estate holdings — including iconic properties like 40 Wall Street, Doral Miami, and Mar-a-Lago, — greatly exceed the amount of the judgment. Such assets are impossible to secrete or dispose of surreptitiously, leaving the plaintiff effectively secured during the pendency of an appeal,” the filing said.

Trump’s team also argued the $464 million penalty is “grossly disproportional” and cited the argument they made throughout the months-long trial that “there are no victims, as there were no damages and no financial losses.” 

In a filing last month, Trump’s lawyers asked that the bond amount be reduced to $100 million, but Monday’s filing argues he shouldn’t have to put up any bond at all.

James’ office has argued that Trump should put up the full amount.

In a separate case in New York federal court, Trump last week posted a $91 million bond to secure writer E. Jean Carroll’s $83 million defamation judgment against him while he appeals that verdict as well.

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