Never let it be said that Donald Trump has reached the peak of his capacity to come up with new and more embarrassing public commentaries and legal arguments. He deserves to be acknowledged for his seemingly inexhaustible supply of preposterous pronouncements and his ability to make things worse for himself at every opportunity.
Last September New York Attorney General Leticia James filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump and his company, the “Trump Organization,” for fraud related to his real estate business. The suit alleges that Trump lied about his assets in order to deceive banks and insurance companies to get more favorable terms, and to illegally avoid taxes.
On Thursday Trump’s attorneys filed a motion in court in response to the fraud lawsuit. And true to form, Trump’s positions were legally and rationally incomprehensible. According to Business Insider, the filing stated that…
“‘Trump Organization’ is branding shorthand — not a legal entity — so it can’t be sued,’ [and that] ‘While the shorthand ‘Trump Organization’ is utilized by Defendants for branding and business purposes, no entity as such exists for legal purposes.”
First of all, if an entity exists for “branding and business purposes,” it exists for legal purposes as well. Particularly if that entity is paying taxes on assets that it owns, and is claiming, under penalty of perjury, that its representations are true and correct.
More to the point, Trump’s absurd claim that the Trump Organization doesn’t exist is irrelevant in the pending lawsuit because, as it turns out, the Trump Organization isn’t being sued:
“New York’s lawsuit names Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, former company CFO Allen Weisselberg and its former payroll executive Jeffrey McConney. The lawsuit does not specifically sue anything called ‘Trump Organization,’ instead naming as defendants 11 entities under the Trump Organization umbrella.”
Presumably, Trump is not making the argument that he and his family do not exist. Therefore, they are liable for any fraud committed by them and/or whatever business entity they operate that does exist.
Trump filed two countersuits against New York AG James asserting that her legal actions against him were motivated by politics and personal animus. He has made wild and slanderous accusations against James as being racist (she is Black) and the judge as being corrupt. However, Trump recently dropped both of those suits after he and his attorneys were sanctioned for frivolous litigation and ordered to pay nearly a million dollars.
It will be interesting to see if Trump extends this legal illogic to his other legal problems. Perhaps he will claim that he can’t be indicted for inciting the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol because Congress doesn’t exist. Or maybe he’ll try to evade responsibility for election interference when he threatened government officials in Georgia because Georgia doesn’t exist. Don’t laugh. This is, after all, Trump we’re talking about.
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