Former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial will roll ahead next week after he lost a bid Friday to postpone it.
Trump wanted to halt the trial while he fights a pretrial ruling that could strip him of control of such assets as Trump Tower. An appeals judge rebuffed the request for a pause but agreed that control over the holdings will stay as-is for now.
Friday’s decision came five days into the closely watched trial, which drew Trump to the courthouse to observe — and fulminate — for days this week.
Trump’s lawyers had asked the state’s intermediate appellate court to suspend the trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit and prevent Judge Arthur Engoron from enforcing a ruling he made last week. Engeron’s decision revokedthe Republican presidential frontrunner’s business licenses and puts a court-appointed receiver in charge of his companies.
“This is a massive error. It is irreparable,” Trump attorney Christopher Kise told the appellate judge, Associate Justice Peter H. Moulton. Kise argued that the ruling will make defendants in other cases fear that their companies and properties will be seized without recourse.
“We’re not seeking a delay. We’re seeking a fair trial,” Kise said.
Trump’s lawyers said the ruling could harm not only the ex-president and other defendants but as many as 1,000 employees.
James’ office has talked to the defense about delaying enforcement of Engoron’s ruling during the trial, provided it proceeds, state Deputy Solicitor General Judy Vale told the appeals judge.
“We could have resolved some of this, and we’re still happy to do so,” Vale said.
She called the defense arguments for a delay “completely meritless” and noted that mounting the trial has been ”an enormous endeavor.” It has entailed extensive court planning, security resources for Trump’s attendance and special arrangements for press and public access.