Mar 22, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump claims he has $500 million in cash as asset seizure looms

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after voting at a polling station setup in the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center on March 19, 2024, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Former President Trump speaks after voting at in the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center on March 19 in Palm Beach, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Trump in an all-caps Truth Social missive Friday claimed he has almost $500 million in cash as a deadline looms to pay an appeal bond in the New York civil fraud case against him, undercutting his own lawyers.

Why it matters: New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the suit, has already moved toward seizing Trump's properties, as the clock ticks for him to post the $454 million bond.

  • Trump's post comes days after lawyers warned it's proven "impossible" to secure the nearly half-billion-dollar bond — setting off a frenzy over how exactly the GOP presidential frontrunner, facing mounting legal fees and penalties, will avoid a financial crisis. The judgment is accruing sizable interest daily.
  • Also Friday, a shareholder vote passed allowing Truth Social to go public, adding billions of dollars to Trump's net worth. But he's not allowed to sell any shares for at least six months.

Driving the news: "Through hard work, talent, and luck, I currently have almost five hundred million dollars in cash, a substantial amount of which I intended to use in my campaign for president," Trump wrote Friday.

  • "The often overturned political hack judge on the rigged and corrupt A.G. case, where I have done nothing wrong, knew this, wanted to take it away from me, and that's where and why he came up with the shocking number which, coupled with his crazy interest demand, is approximately $454,000,000."
  • Trump also made a number of posts deriding the case and James for bringing it.

The big picture: A seizure of Trump's assets would be a personal blow to the former president, who has made his wealth and properties central to his political brand.

  • Trump's presidential campaign in a fundraising appeal to supporters earlier this week, wrote: "Keep your filthy hands off of Trump Tower," responding to James' threat to seize his properties.

Between the lines: Trump's lawyers in a filing earlier this week said that they had contacted more than two dozen bond underwriters, with none willing to cover the bond amount.

  • Trump himself said earlier this week that he may have to sell some of his properties at "fire sale prices" to cover the $454 million bond.

Reality check: Trump, who is facing a cash squeeze as he fights his numerous legal cases and vies for the presidency, is trailing President Biden in fundraising ahead of their November rematch.

  • The former president, who used his own finances during his 2016 presidential campaign, has not used any of his own money to fund his 2024 presidential election.
  • Until the Friday Truth Social post, Trump hadn't said publicly that he was planning to use millions of his own money to fund his presidential bid.
  • Plus, $500 million in liquid cash won't cover the collateral associated with the bond.

Go deeper: What may happen if Trump can't secure $464M bond in New York fraud case

Go deeper