Closing arguments in the New York fraud case against Donald Trump were submitted more than two weeks ago.
With so many civil and criminal cases in progress, why is Trump’s Sunday morning rage-posting suddenly focused on the financial fraud case, in which courtroom arguments came to a close earlier this month?
As it happens, the former federal judge appointed to monitor his finances just dropped a new revelation, and he may have a major reason for concern.
It seems Judge Barbara Jones‘ latest filing on Trump’s finances uncovers $48 million involved in a suspicious transaction. Essentially, there’s a questionable loan to Trump from one of his companies, Chicago Unit Acquisition (CAU), but when Jones asked questions about the money, she got conflicting stories — and questionable loans through this property have arisen before.
In fact, Trump disclosed in 2015 that he owed more than $50 million to CAU — awkward, since he also listed CAU as being worth less than $15k. The latest concern, though, is that if he’s falsifying information about the money, it could be a tax dodge.
Specifically, in her filing, Jones wrote that at one point, she was told the loan existed but hadn’t been documented on paper, but that later the Trump Organization informed her it was an error and that the loan would be removed from future financial filings. The Daily Beast reported:
“If true, that would essentially be an admission from the Trump Organization that all the financial disclosures Trump has filed with the federal government listed an entirely fictional debt worth tens of millions of dollars, which Trump claimed he personally owed to one of his own companies.”
Raising even more questions, a Trump Organization spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Jones was wrong, and that the loan does exist, but claimed that it was, in fact, a loan to the company from Trump, rather than the other way around.
That’s in contrast to Trump’s public comments on the debt before. In 2015, he reported it on his financial declarations as a debt he owed. In 2020, with the matter still unexplained, Forbes reported:
“Since the value of the debt was listed at over $50 million, it would make sense if Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC, the creditor on the liability, was in turn worth more than $50 million. But instead, Trump listed the value of the asset at just $1,001 to $15,000. Every year since, the president has recorded the value on his financial disclosures as nothing at all.”
Trump also claimed at the time that he had purchased the debt back from another creditor, and was paying interest on it, but CUA shows no annual income, as it would if it was receiving interest on a loan.
In 2015 and 2020, this was an oddity, something for the public to wonder about, and little more. In fact, Trump Organziation chief legal officer Jason Greenblatt said at the time that it was “really personal corporate trade secrets” and “neither newsworthy or frankly anybody’s business,” according to the New York Times.
Now that it’s been handed to the judge in a financial fraud case, though, that shifts a little.
It may explain why Trump rage-posted about the case no fewer than five times in the course of about 2 hours Sunday morning, including an all-caps reiteration of his well-debunked declaration that a disclaimer on his financial documents removes his liability for false statements, more griping about Attorney General Letitia James drinking Starbucks coffee, and another insistence that his properties were undervalued on financial statements, which doesn’t exactly bode well for a defense against allegations of tax fraud.
With a pending multi-million judgment likely in the fraud case — coupled with the over $88 million trump owes E. Jean Carroll for the damages awarded across his two defamation trials — Trump’s net worth and his cash flow seem to be facing serious obstacles.
And that’s not even taking into account the considerable sums he will have to pay for his legal defense in the federal election interference prosecution, the Georgia RICO trial, and the NY Stormy Daniels hush money case.
No wonder he’s so desperate to get back in the White House.