Advertisement

Trump posts $91.6m bond to appeal E Jean Carroll defamation verdict

After losing a last-ditch attempt to delay, Donald Trump has posted a $91.6m bond to appeal a jury’s multi-million dollar verdict for his defamatory statements about E Jean Carroll.

Attorneys for the former president notified the judge overseeing the case on Friday that he has filed his expected appeal with a federal appeals court in New York, and requested that US District Judge Lewis Kaplan pause the judgment against him as the litigation continues.

Mr Trump was required to put up 110 per cent of the $83.3m judgment to pause collections while the appeal plays out.

The former president lined up the loan on 5 March through the Federal Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Chubb Corporation, whose CEO was appointed to a trade advisory committee during the Trump administration.

Under the terms of the bond, the company will only secure the appeal of the $83.3m judgment but not any future appeals.

Judge Kaplan gave Ms Carroll’s lawyers until Monday morning to file any opposition to the latest filings.

On her newsletter, Ms Carroll wrote that while her attorney Robbie Kaplan (no relation to the judge) is “strong enough to yank a golden toilet out of the floor at Trump Tower and toss it through the window,” the former president’s bond will save her “the trouble of showing up with US Marshals on Monday to do so.”

Earlier this week, Mr Trump’s attorneys Alina Habba and John Sauer asked the judge to extend a pause of the judgment, which the former president would have been required to begin paying on Monday.

That timeline put the former president in an apparent financial crunch that “threatens to impose irreparable injury in the form of substantial costs” he might not be able to recover, his attorneys argued.

On Thursday, the judge said Mr Trump’s “current situation is a result of his own dilatory actions”.

“He has had since January 26 to organize his finances with the knowledge that he might need to bond this judgment, yet he waited until 25 days after the jury verdict – and only shortly before the expiration of [the] automatic 30-day stay of judgment – to file his prior motion for an unsecured or partially secured stay pending resolution of post-trial motions,” the judge wrote.

The expense of his ongoing litigation “does not constitute ‘irreparable injury’ in the relevant sense of that term,” according to Judge Kaplan.

Donald Trump appears at his Mar-a-Lago club on 5 March (AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump appears at his Mar-a-Lago club on 5 March (AFP via Getty Images)

The judge also said Mr Trump has also not made “any showing” of the financial toll that taking out a significant premium on a bond would have against the self-described multi-bilionaire. He also said Mr Trump made no mention of how he plans to post bond, “or any other circumstances relevant to the situation”.

In January, a nine-member jury determined that Mr Trump must pay Ms Carroll more than $83m in damages for his defamatory statements about the former Elle magazine writer.

He was previously found liable for sexual abusing her and then defaming her when he lied about her sexual assault allegations, which her attorneys said fuelled abusive messages and death threats against her. Mr Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The judgment adds to the former president’s tens of millions of dollars in financial penalties, including a judgment of more than $454m, plus daily interest, after a judge found him liable for a decade-long fraud scheme to deceive banks and investors to gain favourable financing terms for his brand-building properties.

A New York appellate judge denied Mr Trump’s request to halt enforcement of the monetary judgment against him in that case, but he will still be allowed to lead his real estate empire and apply for loans to be able to afford the bond to appeal the ruling against him.

Mr Trump offered up a $100m bond to stall that judgment. A response brief from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office in that case is due on 11 March.