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Judge formally says Trump owes $454 million in civil fraud case, countdown starts for him to put up the money for appeal

By Kara Scannell and Lauren del Valle, CNN

(CNN) — A New York judge on Friday formally ordered Donald Trump to pay $454 million, including interest, a move that will give the former president one month to post nearly half a billion dollars to appeal the fraud verdict.

Judge Arthur Engoron’s signed judgment was posted to the court docket Friday, one week after he found Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump liable for fraud in the civil case brought by New York Attorney General Letita James.

Once Trump and the others are served with the judgment, the 30-day clock for them to file an appeal starts. During that period Trump will need to put up cash or post bond to cover the $355 million and additional roughly $100 million in interest he was ordered to pay. The sons were each ordered to pay $4 million back in gains they improperly received because of the fraud. The judge also banned the Trumps from serving as officers of a business entity in New York for several years.

Earlier Friday, James posted on X, “Friday feeling: No one is above the law.”

Representatives for the Trump Organization have not responded to questions about who will run the company as it faces leadership challenges while Trump is campaigning to clinch the Republican nomination for president in between court appearances.

Trump has vowed to appeal.

Trump initially asked to delay the judgment for 30 days saying it wouldn’t harm the New York attorney general’s office and would allow for an orderly process given the “magnitude” of the decision. The judge rejected the request saying they didn’t explain or justify a reason to do so.

The judge notified both sides in an email Thursday that he would sign off on the proposed judgment drafted by the New York attorney general’s office.

“The proposed judgment accurately reflects the spirit and letter of the February 16 Decision and Order,” the judge wrote.

Hours after the civil fraud judgment was finalized, Trump asked a federal judge to delay execution of the $83.3 million judgment against him in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case, requesting a stay until 30 days after his post-trial motions are litigated.

The motion filed Friday evening doesn’t mention the hefty bond Trump will have to post to appeal the state civil fraud case with the attorney general, but his lawyers said forcing the former president to pay a roughly $90 million bond in the defamation case right now would cause him “irreparable injury.”

“Here, under this district’s common practice of requiring a bond of 110 percent of the judgment, President Trump faces the prospect of posting a bond of $91.63 million—a sizeable bond which will come with very substantial, non-recoverable financial costs. These costs plainly constitute irreparable injury,” the filing said.

If District Judge Lewis Kaplan denies Trump’s motion for a stay of the judgment in the Carroll case, Trump will have to dig deeper into his pockets to come up with the cash required to fight both civil cases that have accumulated a tab of nearly $550 million in the first weeks of 2024.

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba argued in the motion that Carroll’s legal team made it clear during the trial that Trump “has great financial resources” and thus, she should not need the “protection of a bond during the brief period while post-trial motions are pending.” Habba alternatively asked the judge to consider a bond at a fraction of the $83.3 million.

“The figure awarded to Ms. Carroll is egregiously excessive,” Habba said in a statement to CNN Friday night.“The Court must exercise its authority to prevent Ms. Carroll’s from enforcing this absurd judgment, which will not withstand appeal.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Kaanita Iyer contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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