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Jeb Bush Comes to Trump’s Defense After New York Ruling

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who unsuccessfully ran against then-candidate Donald Trump for president in 2016, came to his former foe’s defense after a New York judge issued a $355 million judgment against the former president.

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bush and Joe Lonsdale warned that the ruling and one against Tesla owner Elon Musk “imperil the rule of law” and also foster an anti-business environment in the United States.

“Equality before the law is precious, and these rulings represent a crisis not only for the soundness of our courts, but for the business environment that has allowed the U.S. to prosper,” the former governor argued.

“If these rulings stand, the damage could cascade through the economy, creating fear of arbitrary enforcement against entrepreneurs who seek public office or raise their voices as citizens in a way that politicians dislike.”

Referencing the decision handed down by New York Judge Arthur Engoron this month against the former president, Mr. Bush wrote that New York Attorney General Letitia James used an “unusual New York law” to target President Trump that did not “require her to prove that he had intended to defraud anyone, or even that anyone lost money.”

And since there were no victims, he noted that “the state will collect the damages.”

In testimony, Deutsche Bank, which lent President Trump money for his real estate company, said it was happy with its investments and was paid back with interest. The bank also testified that it wasn’t sure whether state prosecutors’ claims that President Trump inflated his properties’ value and personal net worth would have an impact.

A report from The Associated Press, Mr. Bush added, “found that of the 12 cases brought under that law since its adoption in 1956 in which significant penalties were imposed, the case against Mr. Trump was the only instance without an alleged victim or financial loss.”

In the Musk case, Mr. Bush argued Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Court of Chancery “ordered the unwinding of five years of Mr. Musk’s incentive-based compensation at Tesla, which had been approved by 80 percent of the company’s shareholders” after a plaintiff who owned only five shares argued that Mr. Musk’s compensation plan allegedly injured him.

New York and Delaware could see significant “damage to the reputations of their respective judiciaries” as both states have played a major role in business operations in the United States. Delaware, for example, has a number of big corporations incorporated there due to their corporate legal statutes.

Later, Mr. Bush warned that if the states’ appellate courts don’t reverse those rulings, they could see “significant” losses. Some business owners have already said they will pull their companies or investments out of the state after the Engoron ruling.

“The damage to the legal fabric of the country will be even worse. A dispassionate justice system is at the heart of American exceptionalism, and the country will be poorer if we lose it,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s lawyers appealed the Engoron ruling on Monday, seeking to overturn it. The move could put the order on hold for the time being as the appeals process plays out.

In addition to imposing the monetary penalties, the judge’s decision barred President Trump from running a corporation in New York or seeking loans with banks chartered or registered in the state for three years. The judge also enhanced the powers of a court-appointed financial watchdog at The Trump Organization, the umbrella entity for the former president’s business ventures.

The judge also fined his sons, Don Jr. and Eric Trump, $4 million each and barred them from running a New York corporation for two years. Both men have denied wrongdoing and joined in the former president’s appeal on Monday.

As for Mr. Musk, also the owner of X, he will reportedly ask the Delaware judge to pause the ruling. The Jan. 30 ruling rescinded the CEO’s $56-billion pay package, which consisted of stock options. Mr. Musk has not exercised the options that would allow him to buy Tesla stock at a deeply discounted price. Once he buys the stock, he must hold it for five years.

This month, Mr. Musk moved one of his other companies, SpaceX, out of Delaware to Texas after criticizing the state over the ruling.

“If your company is still incorporated in Delaware, I recommend moving to another state as soon as possible,” he wrote in his X announcement.

READ 13 COMMENTS
  • Leon Redbone says:

    I’m happy to see that Jeb Bush put aside his dislike of Trump to bring to light the injustice done in New York. I’ve never seen or heard of George W doing likewise. Although I’ve seen him side with Obama and Clinton to trash Trump. Very disappointed in W.

  • Me says:

    When Trump is in the White House, ARREST them for SEDITION… Set up a military tribunal and go for the MAXIMUM penalty: EXECUTION!

    Nothing else seems to deter these RABID WOKEs…

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