Updated Feb 28, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Appellate judge rejects Trump's request for stay on collection of "exorbitant" civil fraud case fine

Donald Trump and Lt Governor during an election night watch party

Donald Trump on Feb. 24 in Columbia, South Carolina. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A New York appellate judge rejected former President Trump's request Wednesday to halt the collection of penalties in his civil fraud case until his appeal is complete.

Why it matters: Trump's lawyers wrote in a court filing that he intends to post a $100 million bond — significantly less than the sum he's been fined.

  • But Judge Anil Singh ruled Wednesday that the former president must post bond for the full amount he owes in order to stop enforcement of the judgment.
  • The judge did, however, grant Trump's request to pause a three-year ban to bar him from pursuing loans from banks in New York, potentially allowing him to collect funds for his bond.

State of play: On Feb. 16, New York Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to pay a base sum of $355 million plus interest.

  • Trump is responsible for about $112,000 in interest per day. New York Attorney General Letitia James posts a running tally of what the former president and other defendants in the case owe on her X account. James' total is based on the full $364 million fine set by Engoron for all defendants, not just Trump.
  • Engoron also prohibited Trump, his defendants, and his company from getting loans from New York banks for three years, per AP.
  • Trump filed an appeal challenging the ruling on Monday.

Between the lines: In Monday's court filing requesting the interim stay, Trump's lawyers deemed the fine "unprecedented and punitive."

  • The request for an interim stay is coupled with the lower bond amount. If Trump posted a bond covering the full amount owed, it would trigger an automatic stay of enforcement, per AP.
  • "The exorbitant and punitive amount of the judgment coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions would make it impossible to secure and post a complete bond," Trump's lawyers wrote.
  • "Appellants nonetheless plan to secure and post a bond in the amount of $100 million," they added.

The other side: The New York Attorney General's Office responded to the stay request in its own court filing Wednesday, writing that it "intends to oppose the stay motion in full."

  • The attorney general's office wrote that there was "no merit" to Trump's argument that posting a full bond is unnecessary because Trump is willing to post a partial bond amount.
  • Trump's lawyers "all but concede ... that Mr. Trump has insufficient liquid assets to satisfy the judgment ... These are precisely the circumstances for which a full bond or deposit is necessary," per the filing.

Neither Trump's lawyers nor the New York Attorney General's Office responded to Axios' request for comment.

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