Dem 51
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Could Trump Have a Secret Plan While Insulting the Judge?

Many heads have been scratched over the issue of why Donald Trump has been antagonizing, insulting, and goading Judge Arthur Engoron, who will decide the future of his business empire all by himself. It could be that Trump's lawyers, Christopher Kise and Alina Habba, simply can't control him, no matter how many times they point out that Engoron is the decider here and he could singlehandedly fine Trump $500 million and sell off all his properties to pay the fine.

Trump knows this. Retired judge Barbara Jones has been appointed to monitor Trump's businesses. The next step is for the judge to name a receiver who would prepare Trump's properties for sale. Jones is a serious candidate for receiver. Once a receiver is certified, the receiver goes to work selling the properties.

All this has surely not escaped Trump. So why is he hitting Engoron so hard? One potential explanation is that Trump knows he has lost the trial and Engoron will impose a huge fine. So he is not trying to win the case in court anymore. Instead, he is trying to anger Engoron so much that he oversteps his role, shows his bias, and does something that will allow the appeals court to throw the verdict and fine out the window. If Trump has conceded a loss in his trial, trying to get Engoron to make a mistake that the appeals court will pick up on might be his only strategy.

Of course, Engoron (74) has been around the track a couple of times. He has a pretty good idea of what judges can and cannot do and is undoubtedly thinking about the certain appeal as well. This is probably why the first time Trump violated his gag order, Engoron fined him only $5,000 and the second time he fined him only $10,000. If the Judge had imposed fines of $1 million and $5 million, that would have been a much better basis for an appeal. By making the fines so small, Trump can hardly argue the judge is obviously biased against him. In fact, NYS can argue the small fines show the judge was lenient to Trump.

If this general theory is correct, Trump is betting that Engoron has as little self-control as he does. It's probably a poor bet, but Trump is desperate. (V)

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