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Trump wins lifeline in civil fraud case

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NEW YORK: Donald Trump was thrown a huge lifeline on Monday when an appeals court slashed what could have been a crippling demand for a nearly half-billion-dollar bond payment and also gave him 10 more days to pay.

The Republican presidential candidate got the unexpectedly positive news about his New York civil fraud case while he was sitting in court for another case — a hearing in his upcoming criminal trial over paying hush money to a porn star.

Trump had been facing a Monday deadline to pay the huge original bond pending an appeal against a judge’s decision that he is liable for fraudulently conspiring to inflate his net worth.

Trump had made clear he was unable to find the $454 million and he risked seeing New York state confiscate parts of his property empire in response. Now with Monday’s decision, he will have 10 more days to pay just $175 million.

Writing on his Truth Social app, Trump said he would “abide by the decision of the Appellate Division and post either a bond, equivalent securities, or cash”.

The 77-year-old Republican began his day of twin legal crises in a Manhattan courtroom at a hearing to set a new date for his trial over payments he made on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to make sure porn star Stormy Daniels did not publicise a sexual encounter.

“This is a witch hunt,” Trump told reporters before walking into court.

The hush money trial had been scheduled to begin on Monday but was delayed at the last minute because tens of thousands of pages of potential evidence were belatedly produced by prosecutors.

The Manhattan district attorney has told Judge Juan Merchan he would accept a delay of up to 30 days for the start of the trial while lawyers for Trump have asked for at least three months.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2024


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