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Trump’s Legal Fees Top Over a Half-Billion Dollars


          Donald Trump has a series of legal troubles ahead of the 2024 presidential election. From a defamation case to state attempts to keep his name from ballots. It is obvious that Donald Trump’s second presidential campaign is almost defined by legal troubles. It has been reported after his recent loss in a New York case that Trump owes over half a billion dollars in legal fees. This news is not only shocking, but a first in politics. America has yet to see a former president (or a presidential hopeful for that matter) in such legal trouble. The verdict in New York will have detrimental consequences to Trump’s business in the state of New York.

        It was reported today that Donal Trump would have to pay $355 million dollars in fines plus interest for manipulating his financial statements according to Jake Offenhartz for the Associated Press. The Associated Press also reported that Trump is also punished with a ban on doing business in the state of New York.  The decision was made after the judge assigned to this case already found that Trump was guilty of manipulating his financial information. These fines have added up after his other legal fees. Time will only tell if he will appeal against the decision to be made by a higher court. Regardless, his legal fees are adding up.

      The New York verdict comes after Trump has already been forced to pay $83.3 million dollars to writer E. Jean Carroll for defamation according to Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian for the Washington Post. The resulting fines from both cases put Trump in a steep financial hole. But, even the financial results do not seem to be the biggest blow to Trump’s business empire. As  long as Trump is making money from his businesses and his campaign, money seems like a small issue. What seems to matter more is the future of his businesses and how he can control them.

     Along with the fines from Trump’s current legal losses, Trump had another consequence. According to Jeremy Herb, Lauren del Val, and Kara Scannell for CNN, Trump has more consequences than money. CNN said, “Trump’s eldest sons – who’ve essentially run the Trump Organization since 2017 – are barred from serving as executives in New York for two years, according to Engoron’s order. The Trumps will have to navigate the two-year penalty as they sort out the future of the family-run real estate company” (Herb, del Val, and Scannell). The effect of the ban could see a serious effect of Donald Trump’s legacy of business in New York and the success of his empire in the future.

     The ban on both Donald Trump and his sons has a harmful effect on his businesses in the state of New York. One aspect to talk about is the effect on other businesses in New York. Edward Helmore wrote an article for The Guardian about a radio interview from New York governor, Kathy Hochul. The article stated, “Hochul’s comments were directed at some New York business leaders who said they were concerned that the attorney general Letitia James’s case against Trump could deter businesses and investment from coming to the state” (Helmore).      

     Hochul’s comments bring up an interesting topic. Donald Trump’s businesses have a lot of influence in New York specifically. This ruling sent a message to all other business owners in the state. While the state governor tried to calm fears, they didn’t work. Business owners all over the state are uneasy about the precedent that the ruling sets. Regardless of the fears, the New York governor insists that Donald Trump’s case is an outstanding circumstance. The governor even noted that, “ many New York business owners are “honest people, and they’re not trying to hide their assets and they’re following the rules” (Helmore).

      Regardless of the response from other New York business owners, the ban will have detrimental effects against Trump as a business owner. Given the ban put on Donald Trump as a business owner, he won’t be able to use the normal channels to do business. Jeanne Sahadi for CNN Business wrote an article on the effects of the New York case ruling. Sahadi wrote, “Given that Engoron’s ruling bars him from getting a loan from any financial institution registered in New York — which likely rules out most major international banks with offices in New York, Thomas noted — that may mean he would need to get a personal loan from a non-financial institution or an unregistered financial company” (Sahadi).

   Sahadi is saying that Trump will have to go through unconventional channels to get a loan. This might seem like a tall order, but it is easy to see how Trump has many wealthy friends who could hypothetically give him a loan. The biggest problem is the ban from being able to run any of his businesses in New York. The ban will keep Trump and his two sons from being able to maintain the businesses. It is likely that Trump will choose to appeal against this decision to a different legal court. Time will only tell the effect of this decision. Losing the ability to do business for even two years can have detrimental effects.


Photo Taken by Marco Verch for Flickr.com

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