Trump claims to have ‘almost $500m in cash’ despite inability to pay bond

Donald Trump claimed on Friday to have at his disposal “almost $500m in cash”, despite having complained about a $454m bond his lawyers say he cannot pay as he appeals a New York civil fraud judgment.

In an all-capitals, early morning post to his Truth Social platform, the former president said: “Through hard work, talent, and luck, I currently have almost $500m in cash, a substantial amount of which I intended to use in my campaign for president.”

The judge in his New York fraud case knew this, Trump claimed, and therefore came up with a penalty which, with interest, amounts to around $454m.Trump’s lawyers have said it is a “practical impossibility” for Trump to meet that bond by its 25 March deadline. In turn, the New York state attorney general, Letitia James, reportedly took steps towards seizing Trump-owned properties.

One legal analyst called Trump’s Friday morning rant “the dumbest thing he could possibly have done”.“That is a direct admission by him that he has the money,” Nick Akerman, a former assistant US attorney in the southern district of New York who was a prosecutor during the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon, told CNN.

“Keep in mind, even with this operating money or cash that he supposedly has, if he doesn’t pony up and put up a bond, Letitia James is going to be able to go in and basically put restraining orders on all of his bank accounts. Everything that relates to him and all of that money is going to be tied up and frozen.

“So if he’s really got that money, he’s got to put it up.”As Trump runs to return to the White House, he faces unprecedented legal jeopardy: 88 criminal charges (14 over election subversion, 40 over retention of classified information, 34 over hush-money payments), and various civil penalties – both in the fraud case and in a defamation case arising from a rape allegation a judge called “substantially true”.

Trump’s legal costs are therefore enormous. He received a potential boost on Friday as shareholders approved the public listing of Trump Media & Technology, the parent company of Truth Social, a move that could net more than $3bn. That money, however, will not be accessible for some time and is subject to the whims of the markets.

Also on Friday, multiple outlets reported that Trump’s new fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee directs donations to his campaign and a political action committee that pays his legal bills before the RNC gets a cut.

The unorthodox diversion of funds to the Save America political action committee – disclosed in an invitation to an event in Florida on 6 April obtained by the Associated Press – makes donors more likely to see their money go to Trump’s lawyers, who have received at least $76m over two years.

Leave a Comment