Judge Arthur Engoron originally said that he was aiming for January 31st for his final verdict in Donald Trump’s New York civil fraud case. Then the court announced that Engoron’s decision was being delayed until early to mid February. No reason was stated. But the realistic explanation was that there was new evidence against Trump, and that Engoron was having to go back and reassess whether to increase the damages.
Sure enough, Judge Engoron has been looking into longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg’s perjury during the trial. Weisselberg just pleaded guilty to that perjury and is presumably headed back to prison. Engoron is reportedly looking at whether Weisselberg’s perjury means that the entirety of his testimony during the trial can be disregarded. Weisselberg claimed that Trump didn’t know about some of the fraud that was taking place. So if his testimony is fully cast aside, Trump would lose the little bit of a defense that he did have.
Keep in mind that Donald Trump has already lost this trial by summary judgment before it began. Judge Engoron has merely been using this time to determine just how gigantic the damages should be. Now that we know that he’s using Weisselberg’s perjury as a factor in the final verdict, it likely means that Trump is looking at even bigger damages. This day just keeps getting worse for Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report