April 16, 2024

A Pyrrhic Victory in New York

The verdict has finally come in for former President Donald Trump in the New York case of falsifying valuations of his properties. Trump has been ordered to pay $355 million dollars and he has been barred from operating his businesses in the state for three years. We’re not sure who will received the money, as this is a victimless crime (with the businesses that were supposedly cheated desiring to have more business with the land tycoon, rather than less), but we do know that an appeal is on the way.

So why is it a Pyrrhic Victory? Because New York’s governor is now having to explain why businesses should stay and how Trump’s case is different… isn’t that his argument?

“I think that this is really an extraordinary, unusual circumstance that the law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about, because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior,” Hochul responded.

Clean Up on Aisle Engoron: Hochul Attempts to Reassure NY Businesses They Won’t Suffer Trump’s Legal Fate

Ann Althouse reads my mind:

What is the “extraordinary, unusual circumstance”? 

Being Donald Trump? If so, she’s revealing that she believes the prosecutors went after the man, not the crime, an abhorrent abuse of power.

So, whatever she thinks, she can’t mean to be saying that. What else is there?

There’s the classic unbelievable assurance that if you don’t break the law, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you’re “law-abiding and rule-following,” then you’re not in the category with Donald Trump.  Trump did something “extraordinary” and “unusual.” Or did the prosecution do something “extraordinary” and “unusual”?

It’s not reassuring.


Law professor Jonathan Turley, who explains just how crazy this is:

Yet the court admitted that not a single dollar was lost by the banks from these dealings. Indeed, witnesses testified that they wanted to do more business with Trump, who was described as a “whale” client with high yield business opportunities.

Undervaluing and overvaluing property is a longstanding practice in New York real estate. The forms submitted by the Trump organization cautioned the banks to do their own estimates and the loans were paid in full and on time. Yet, the New York law used by James is a curiosity because it does not actually require a victim. Indeed, everyone can make ample profits and still allow for an investigation into “repeated fraudulent or illegal acts.”

After all, if New York wants to turn Wall Street into a remake of “The Hunger Games,” it has only itself to blame as other businesses flee the state.

Obscene award against Trump is testing the New York legal system’s integrity

With this first big money loss for Trump (again, it will be appealed), some have started to complain that if Trump is going to lose, and he’s going to use the RNC money to pay for his losses, then he shouldn’t be the headliner for the GOP; however, those supporting Trump have started up the equivalent of a GoFundMe campaign to help with the legal bills.

As of the writing of this, he’s raised $457,245 of the 355 million dollar goal.

Which leads this to why it’s a Pyrrhic Victory. Even if New York ends up getting the money, if they’ve proven that, whenever you have the wrong politics or you’ve looked at leadership the wrong way they can bankrupt you or fine you ridiculous amounts of money with no victim, then they have effectively added one more great reason to take your business elsewhere. Which will cost them much more than they ever won in this case.

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