The Associated Press, an outlet formed in the 1840s by five daily NYC newspapers to share the cost of covering news of the Mexican–American War, is called “lean left” by the bias rating organization “All Sides.”
It was a big surprise then to see this headline:
Dissolving Trump’s empire would stand apart in the history of New York fraud law
Wait, did they just admit the Democrats are shredding normalcy and weaponizing lawfare against the former president? They didn’t use those exact words, but their article certainly supports that conclusion.
It appears they got around to telling you the truth in this article, however. No other case in New York City history has been like state Attorney General Letitia James’ rabid pursuit of Trump for a “crime” that had no victims and caused no damage. James famously campaigned for her job by saying that she would go after the president for anything she could nail him on. “I will never be afraid to challenge this illegitimate President,” James said during her campaign.
Her action is unprecedented, the AP found:
An Associated Press analysis of nearly 70 years of civil cases under the law showed that such a penalty has only been imposed a dozen previous times, and Trump’s case stands apart in a significant way: It’s the only big business found that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses.
Trump is accused of inflating the values of his properties to get better deals on financing. But who’s the victim in this crime? Not the banks, none of which complained.
AP’s review of nearly 150 reported cases since New York’s “repeated fraud” statute was passed in 1956 showed that nearly every previous time a company was taken away, victims and losses were key factors. Customers had lost money or bought defective products or never received services ordered, leaving them cheated and angry.
What’s more, businesses were taken over almost always as a last resort to stop a fraud in progress and protect potential victims. They included a phony psychologist who sold dubious treatments, a fake lawyer who sold false claims he could get students into law school, and businessmen who marketed financial advice but instead swindled people out of their home deeds.
“This sets a horrible precedent,” said New York real estate lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey (no fan of Trump, considering he once sued him).
University of Michigan law professor William Thomas agreed: “Who suffered here? We haven’t seen a long list of victims.” I’d say we haven’t seen any victims.
The depths that James and other prosecutors like Fulton County DA Fani Willis will sink to in order to “get Trump” are startling. It’s also infected the Department of Justice, as well as biased judges and juries.
This case should have been tossed a long time ago. The fact that Trump could have his real estate empire dissolved by Judge Arthur Engoron over imaginary crimes should scare everybody, even those who are not fans of the former president and current frontrunner for the GOP nomination.
“Those who want to see Donald Trump suffer by any means necessary,” said Professor Thomas, “risk ignoring the very commitment to a rule of law that they accuse him of flouting.”