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Donald Trump had a very bad day in court last week when New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron granted the New York Attorney General’s request to appoint an independent monitor for the Trump Organization.

This is the day Trump has been trying desperately to avoid for three straight years. This is why he dragged his feet on discovery to the point of getting cited for contempt of court. This is why he forced former District Attorney Cyrus Vance to go all the way to the Supreme Court and get a ruling that a sitting president is not immune from state process. This is why he made Attorney General Letitia James spend years suing him to secure his testimony. This is why he filed that idiotic lawsuit in federal court asking a US District judge to order the state of New York to stop investigating him. It’s why he filed a downright insane lawsuit yet this week demanding that a Florida state court intervene and declare it illegal for the New York Attorney General to even possess a copy of the Florida revocable trust which holds his assets, much less direct the disposition of those assets pursuant to an order from a New York Court.

This is why he is currently losing his mind on his janky knockoff Twitter site.

“A puppet judge of the New York Attorney General and other sworn enemies of President Trump and the Republican Party has just issued a ruling never before seen anywhere in America. It is Communism come to our shores,” he screeched into the ether last night. “Businesses will be fleeing New York, which they already are, for other states and other countries. Today’s ridiculous ruling by a politically-motivated, hand-picked judge makes it even more vital for courts in both New York and Florida to do the right thing and stop this inquisition. We have to fight back against radical tyranny and save our Country!”

And by “radical tyranny” he means an independent monitor who won’t let him submit fraudulent financial statements as he has done for decades and/or move all his assets out of the State of New York and tell the Attorney General to go pound sand. It’s not “Communism,” nor is it “nationalization,” as his lawyers argued yesterday before Judge Engoron. As the court noted in its order yesterday, it’s the natural consequence of “ongoing and extensive acts of fraud in the preparation and submission of Mr. Trump’s annual Statements of Financial Condition (SFCs)” in violation of “a multitude of state and criminal laws.”

The court rejected the argument that prosecutors need confine themselves to addressing a particularized injury, noting that “New York City is the epicenter of global finance,” and adding that “Our executive, legislative, and judicial institutions are obligated to ensure that financial transactions are conducted truthfully, not fraudulently.”

“The parens patriae doctrine provides a basis for a State to bring an action against a defendant whose conduct has or will impact the health or well-being of the State’s citizens,” he went on, noting that the entire Trump family had been engaged in not that for decades.

Accordingly, at a minimum, Donald Trump Jr. signed off on representations to Mazars without performing the due diligence necessary to ensure their accuracy or compliance with GAAP [Generally Accepted Accounting Principals], raising serious doubt as to the reliability of future SFCs for which Donald Trump Jr. may be responsible. Furthermore, the record is replete with evidence that Donald Trump Jr.’s statement that “we” have not knowingly withheld pertinent information is blatantly false.

The court was entitled to take a negative inference from the hundreds of times Trump and his son Eric invoked their Fifth Amendment rights, as “[f]or example, when asked if he knew that each SFC from 2011 through 2021 contained false and misleading valuations and statements, Mr. Trump invoked his right against self-incrimination,” and it did.

“Here, the balancing of the equities tips, strongly, if not completely, in favor of granting a preliminary injunction, particularly to ensure that defendants do not dissipate their assets or transfer them out of this jurisdiction,” Justice Engoron wrote, finding that, “In the absence of an injunction, and given defendants’ demonstrated propensity to engage in persistent fraud, failure to grant such an injunction could result in extreme prejudice to the people of New York” by making assets unavailable for “potential disgorgement at the conclusion of this case.”

So that last minute Hail Mary attempt to get a judge in Florida to call dibs on the revocable trust and threaten to beat up Justice Engoron if he touched any of the assets in it seems to have been, at best, a failure. More likely, it made matters worse, and not just because it was needlessly antagonistic to the New York court.

As prosecutors noted in a letter to Justice Engoron apprising him of “an important and highly relevant development,” the Florida clownsuit constitutes an explicit admission that Trump is “attempting to shield the key documents governing the structure of his business conglomerate and ownership of his business assets from review” and that “he is seeking to put assets beyond this Court’s reach.”

And despite whoever it was racing to tell the New York Times that Trump’s “normal” lawyer Chris Kise was shocked and chagrined that his client got talked into filing that howler, Kise spent much of the past week in a furious but doomed attempt to get the case transferred out of Justice Engoron’s courtroom and into the Commercial Division, despite the binding order of Administrative Judge Adam Silvera denying the request three weeks ago.

The parties are now invited to submit candidates for an independent monitor (How about Judge Raymond Dearie?), who will have the right to see every piece of paper in the Trump Organization, which is now enjoined from “selling, transferring, or otherwise disposing of any non-cash asset … without first providing 14 days notice to OAG and this Court.” They can’t move any assets, and they can’t submit any financial statements without the monitor’s sign off.

In short, this was the disaster Trump has fought for years to prevent. And short of a miracle, nothing that comes after this is going to be fun for the Trump family.

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

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