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Trump Found Guilty, Can He Still Become President?

On Tuesday, a judge in New York determined that ex-President Trump was responsible for deceptive practices. This decision marked a significant advancement for New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) in her extensive lawsuit related to Trump’s business dealings.

In a detailed 35-page decision, Justice Arthur Engoron dismissed Trump’s attempt to have the entire case thrown out, allowing the other aspects of the case to move forward to the courtroom. This decision also mandates the continuation of an independent monitor’s oversight of the Trump Organization and revokes certain business licenses associated with Trump. The court hearing, presided over by Engoron, is set to commence next week, unless there’s an unexpected postponement initiated by Trump.

Last year, James’s office initiated legal proceedings against Trump, the Trump Organization, and two of his elder children, Eric and Donald Jr., accusing them of engaging in fraudulent activities for over ten years.

Engoron approved James’s motion, holding Trump and the other accused parties accountable for the primary claim out of the seven presented in the lawsuit, which was the result of an extensive inquiry.

Apart from Trump and his two sons, the accused also comprise former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, ex-Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney, and several businesses affiliated with Trump.

Additionally, Engoron approved James’s motion to penalize five of Trump’s attorneys for reintroducing previously rejected arguments in court, imposing a fine of $7,500 on each.

The lawsuit contends that Trump’s firm manipulated its asset values to secure reduced taxes and enhanced insurance coverage. Engoron identified that multiple Trump properties, including his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and Trump Park Avenue in New York, had inaccurate valuations. Engoron mentioned in his decision that Trump’s justifications regarding these valuations during a deposition lacked legal or factual grounding.

Requests for comments were made to both Trump’s legal team and the New York attorney general’s office.

James’s team is pursuing financial penalties amounting to approximately $250 million. They also aim to prohibit Trump and his children from holding executive positions in corporations registered or licensed in New York. Trump had previously tried to have the entire lawsuit dismissed, arguing various points, including the claim that James lacked authority and that the lawsuit was beyond the statute of limitations.

However, Engoron’s recent decision refuted those claims, stating that the lawsuit can advance to the courtroom for the remaining allegations.

Engoron noted, “There are, at the very least, unresolved factual issues regarding whether the defendants intentionally and materially violated these statutes.”

Can he still become president if he’s convicted in New York or Florida, or now that he’s been found liable in the Carroll case?

The short answer, from a legal perspective, is yes, according to experts. 

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