When Donald Trump’s New York civil fraud trial begins today, it will only be to determine the size of the financial penalties, as the judge has already summarily ruled that Trump and his sons did indeed commit a pattern of fraud. Now one of the key witnesses in the trial is speaking out.
Michael Cohen, who is set to testify on behalf of the state during the trial, appeared on the Jen Psaki show over the weekend. He reminded everyone that New York Attorney General Letitia James sought a minimum of $250 million in financial penalties against Trump. Given that the judge found James’ case so persuasive that he’s already issued a scathing ruling against Trump, it’s difficult to imagine that the judge will then turn around and hand out the minimum punishment. Cohen thinks the number will instead be closer to $600 million.
To be clear, Donald Trump does not have this kind of money. Even billionaires – and Trump isn’t really one – don’t tend to have $600 million sitting in a checking account. That means he’ll have to part ways with assets. But his assets are real estate properties, many of which he appears to be in debt or upside down on.
It’s highly doubtful that Trump would be able to sell off enough properties to come up with something like $600 million (or even $250 million), given that if he sells off a property he’s already borrowed against, any profit from the sale would get gobbled up by the debt. So this will most likely result in all of Trump’s properties being seized by the state and sold off forcibly, thus leaving him penniless in the process.
Nor can Trump’s political supporters bail him out of this deep a financial quagmire. Even in the year that he’s been pretending to run for President, he hasn’t raised anything close to the amount of money that he’s about to owe the state. Trump is simply going to be bankrupt – and not the kind of “bankrupt” that he’s been several times before. This is set to be an actual wipeout.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report