World

Trump faces the first derailment of his campaign-to-court strategy

For days, Donald Trump‘s anger at the backup requirement Hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds By Monday, things were bubbling behind the scenes and through a steady stream of social media posts.

Friday’s public spat on his Truth Social platform, which included several posts in all caps, highlighted his ongoing anger at the judge who handed down the sentence the $464 million verdictthe New York attorney general who brought the civil fraud case and Trump’s insistence that everything is aimed at derailing his presidential campaign.

The posts, including one sent just before 2 a.m. Friday, contained a mix of insults and claims without facts or evidence. (There is no evidence that the White House played a role in the case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, let alone that it ordered her to continue her efforts. There is also no evidence that that Trump, as he claimed, has plans to use none of his own money for his presidential campaign.)

But the posts also embedded a reality that has pushed Trump’s business and personal finances to the brink, with just two days left until a resolution.

Trump, by his own admission, has a significant amount of cash, according to a review of his nominee’s recent financial disclosures and personal financial reports.

This is a point he made repeatedly in his testimony and testimony during the New York fraud trial, but it differs from his recent social media claim that he has “nearly five hundred million dollars in cash.” During the trial, he always put the figure at $400 million, and a person familiar with his finances confirmed that, barring any recent and unreported inflows of cash, it remained at about the same level as his Cash inventory.

But even if the higher estimate were correct, as Trump’s lawyers have made clear in sober, detailed filings, it would not be enough.

The $464 million sum sought in the judgment and the bond that Trump is seeking to secure to guard against possible seizure of his property would require cash or a cash equivalent of about $557 million under industry practice.

And at least some of the money Trump has is tied up in loan agreements that contain terms that require him to have tens of millions of dollars in cash on hand.

In other words, as the clock ticks down to Monday’s deadline, obtaining bail of the required magnitude remains, to quote Trump’s own lawyers, a “virtual impossibility.”

A clever strategy

Trump’s deft handling of his unprecedented collision of the campaign and the courthouse – and his ability to exploit it – have defined the path he has taken to once again become the Republican Party’s leader prospective presidential candidate.

But it was a filing by New York State attorneys in a county clerk’s office 25 miles north of Trump Tower, showing how perilously close the former president is to a dramatic derailment of that strategy.

The move by James’ office to pursue judgments in Westchester County was a first step toward seizing Trump’s assets if he fails to secure a bond.

Westchester County is home to Trump’s golf course and his private estate, Seven Springs.

The initial actions that prosecutors have already taken in Manhattan are just the beginning of a complex and lengthy process.

This came even as Trump’s lawyers continued to push for a reduction or waiver of the bail requirement, calling it “manifestly unreasonable, unfair and unconstitutional” in a brief filed Wednesday.

But for Trump, a man who has made his brand and his buildings his central focus, the file targeting one of his properties crystallized a moment unlike any other he has had at experienced his comeback bid for the White House.

“I think the whole thing is nonsense,” a House Republican who communicates with Trump’s team said of the order securing the $464 million bond as he awaited a decision on his appeal. “But it got to the point where it seemed like nothing was sticking to it anymore, so this was different.”

In other words, there can be actual consequences.

Enduring GOP support

Over almost a year, like four indictments and 88 indictments Trump’s poll numbers in the GOP primaries showed a steady rise.

The days Trump was indicted or appeared in court to face those charges were consistently his days best fundraising days on the campaign.

This money was used to partially cover Trump’s legal fees, so he didn’t have to fend for himself.

The lawyers the money funded were both clearly committed to pursuing delaying strategies – and were repeatedly successful at them.

If, as countless former campaign officials say, presidential candidates’ most valuable asset is their time, Trump’s decision to repeatedly attend court hearings when his presence was not required made his opinion on the incentives clear. So did the voters.

Trump has successfully defeated the most well-funded and politically gifted of his main challengers with relative ease. He all but locked up the GOP nomination after just two primaries, as the party largely trailed behind a candidate under whose tenure it lost the House, Senate and White House.

Trump was also the same candidate who some had publicly – and even more privately – hoped would simply disappear after the election January 6, 2021, attack about the U.S. Capitol and the steady stream of revelations he and his advisers tried to prevent Joe BidenThe 2020 victory.

Those close to Trump say they have seen no signs of political damage from his latest legal stress test. National polls continue to show a margin of error contest with Biden, and more importantly, polls in critical swing states have shown no noticeable shift. New CNN poll Polls conducted by SSRS in two battleground states showed Trump tied with Biden at 46% in Pennsylvania and ahead 50% to 42% in Michigan.

Biden left both states out of Trump’s column in 2020.

Trump’s campaign apparatus is well behind Biden’s team in fundraising, but those around Trump are confident the gap will be closed. The former president, these people say, was private Working with the party’s biggest donors in a way they have never seen before.

“The money will be there,” one person told CNN. “He has never been more focused and effective on that front than he is now.”

One adviser suggested that any prosecution of Trump’s property would only serve to provide political support to the campaign Donation appeals via email and SMS with lines like “Get your dirty hands off Trump Tower!” as proof of this.

A cash dilemma

Nevertheless, the threat that Trump currently faces strikes equally at his political and personal core. It is also something that carries a certain level of irony.

In his career and his current judgment, which has been marked by a constant barrage of questions about his net worth and the value of his considerable real estate assets, Trump has a significant amount of cash – and a valuable real estate portfolio that could more than cover the bond amount.

But insurers rarely take real estate as collateral because they fear a complex process and a distorted market in which any bids for that property would come from companies aware of the need to sell, Trump’s lawyers said.

An insurer, Chubb, has subscribed to a $91.63 million bond just two weeks ago in another legal loss against Trump – the E. Jean Carroll defamation case.

Trump’s team had been in discussions with Chubb about a second bond for the fraud case that included a mix of cash and property. Last week, the insurer told Trump’s team that it could not accept real estate as collateral.

A total of 30 insurers contacted by Trump’s team declined to continue efforts to secure bail. Trump alluded to this fact in a Truth Social post when he stated that “it is not possible for bail companies to pay such large sums of money before I can even appeal.” That’s crazy! If I sold assets and then won the appeal, the assets would be lost forever.”

There has been a steady stream of rumors that some of Trump’s wealthiest supporters would step in to contribute the money.

However, so far there has been no confirmation of concrete wishes, let alone any progress towards an agreement.

Another possible path that Trump allies have discussed opened up on Friday Investors agreed to a merger As a result, the former president’s media company, Trump Media and Technology Group, became a publicly traded company. At first glance, Trump’s shares in the new company would give him billions of dollars in shares.

But the availability of that money from Truth Social’s parent company would be subject to a six-month “lock-up period” that would limit Trump’s ability to sell shares or use them as collateral. The billions that Trump could win only exist on paper – and would be subject to the price fluctuations of the stock when it goes into trading.

Any attempt by Trump to circumvent this lock-up period to monetize his shares would likely have a direct and negative impact on the stock price.

Watch his picture

Trump has repeatedly rejected the idea seek bankruptcywhich would freeze the process for what is likely to be a lengthy period of time.

Aides say the reasons include both personal and political concerns.

Trump has publicly expressed the deep scars he bears from bankruptcies decades ago.

“It was an experience I don’t want to relive,” Trump said in a 1992 interview with Charlie Rose. “You’re really in a situation where I don’t think you would be able to do it again if you had to do it again. I went through a two-year period that was really tough.”

Trump is also aware of the potential threat this could pose to the carefully crafted image that lies at the core of his political importance: that of a billionaire business tycoon.

“No chance,” one adviser said of Trump’s pursuit of bankruptcy. “He would rather let Letitia James show up and try to confiscate his property.”

Whether this version of convergence between the election campaign and the courthouse will prevail remains to be seen in the coming days.

But as the deadline to secure the bond approaches, it has become clear for now that the playbook that fueled Trump’s political comeback has hit hurdles in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars.

That’s a problem that the only political opponent to ever defeat Trump likes to highlight.

“I know not everyone is feeling the excitement,” Biden joked at a fundraising reception in Dallas this week. “Just the other day a dejected-looking man came up to me and said, ‘Mr. “Mr. President, I’m in crushing debt and I’m completely wiped out. And I had to look at him and say, ‘Donald, I’m sorry. I can’t help you.'”

For more CNN news and newsletters, create an account at CNN.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button