Trump blasts 'clubhouse politician' judge after being fined $350M, defends the 'great company' he built

'They are trying to stop me, but they will not be successful. I'm fighting for America. I'm fighting for the people,' Trump told Fox News Digital

Former President Trump blasted "clubhouse politician" Judge Arthur Engoron Friday after he barred him from operating his business in New York for three years and fined him more than $350 million, defending the "great company" he built and telling Fox News Digital that the ruling is yet another example of Democrats "trying to stop" him, but that "they will not be successful."

Engoron handed down his ruling Friday after a months-long civil fraud trial beginning in October and stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit alleging the former president inflated his assets and committed fraud. 


Trump spoke exclusively to Fox News Digital shortly after Engoron's ruling was made public Friday afternoon. 

"A crooked New York judge working with the very corrupt attorney general of New York State, who ran on the basis of ‘I will get trump’ before knowing me — before even knowing anything about me — just ruled that I have to pay a fine of $355 million based on absolutely nothing," Trump told Fox News Digital. "No victims. No damages. Great financial statements, with full disclaimer clauses, only success." 

Trump, Engoron in court

L - Former President Donald Trump R - New York Judge Arthur Engoron (Fox News)

Trump told Fox News Digital that the "banks and insurance companies were thrilled — they made nothing but money. No defaults, no nothing at a time when many banks are losing money." 

"This is a witch hunt where the judge ruled against me before he even saw the case," Trump said, noting that Engoron "strongly stated that said Mar-a-Lago was worth $18 million- when it is worth anywhere from 50 to 100 times more than that." 

In September, Engoron ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization had committed fraud while building a real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

Trump also said Engoron has "already been overturned on this case four times — a record." 


Trump was referring to the New York State Appellate Division ruling. 

"I built a great company and now this whacked out clubhouse politician judge bars me for three years," Trump said, adding that the case "should have gone to the commercial division," but said Engoron "wouldn't allow it to happen." 

Trump told Fox News Digital that Engoron "is a political hack working in conjunction with a crooked attorney general in the greatest case of election interference anyone has ever seen in this country." 

In Engoron's 92-page ruling, he criticized Trump and his testimony during trial, saying that he "rarely responded to the questions asked, and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues far beyond the scope of the trial." 

"His refusal to answer the questions directly, or in some cases, at all, severely compromised his credibility," Engoron wrote. 

When asked for reaction, Trump told Fox News Digital: "I answered the questions very directly and the financial statements speak for themselves — they are fantastic financial statements." 

"He is just a clubhouse politician," Trump said. "This country is becoming worse than Russia ever was." 

"They are doing this because I am beating Biden in the polls by so much," Trump told Fox News Digital. "They are trying to stop me, but they will not be successful." 

He added: "I'm fighting for America. I'm fighting for the people." 

Trump told Fox News Digital that he has "already won most of the appeal" at the New York State Appellate Division, saying Engoron has "refused to recognize after four losses there already," but vowed to "appeal the rest of the decision also." 

Letitia James sits in courtroom audience of Trump trial

New York Attorney General Letitia James sits in the courtroom during the fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and his children on Friday, Nov. 03. (Dave Sanders-Pool/Getty Images)

Engoron ruled that Trump and defendants were liable for "persistent and repeated fraud," "falsifying business records," "issuing false financial statements," "conspiracy to falsify false financial statements," "insurance fraud," and "conspiracy to commit insurance fraud." 

The judge also barred Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or legal entity in New York for two years. 

Engoron also "permanently" barred defendants Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and the ormer corporate controller Jeffrey McConney from "serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York State," and as a director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for three years. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the lawsuit accusing Trump and the Trump Organization of fraudulent business practices. The court proceedings were contentious, with Engoron repeatedly placing Trump under a partial gag order to prevent him from criticizing court staff.


James had sought $370 million, plus 9% interest in penalties from Trump. Any awarded funds would go to the New York State Treasury, unless directed elsewhere by the state comptroller.

Trump's legal team also repeatedly blasted the lack of a jury in the trial.

"There was never an option to choose a jury trial," a Trump spokesperson told Fox News Digital last month. "It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened."

Trump and his family denied any wrongdoing, with the former president saying his assets had been undervalued. Trump's legal team insisted that his financial statements had disclaimers, and made it clear to banks that they should conduct their own assessments.

Trump looking frustrated

Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in the courtroom for the third day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 04, 2023 (Mary Altafeer-Pool/Getty Images)

Trump has said his financial statements were "perfect," and stressed that the bank loans were repaid and are "as happy as can be."  

Throughout the trial, Trump attorneys brought witnesses, including former Deutsche Bank top executives, who testified the banks sought additional business from Trump, whom they viewed as a "whale of a client."

Trump's defense also brought in expert witnesses, including New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, who reviewed the Trump financial statements at issue in the case and said he found no evidence of accounting fraud.

Bartov testified last month that Trump’s financial statements did not violate accounting principles, and he suggested that anything problematic — like a huge year-to-year leap in the estimated value of his Trump Tower penthouse — was simply an error.

"My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud," Bartov testified. Trump’s financial statements, he said, "were not materially misstated."

James' office had requested that Engoron ban Trump, his sons and the other defendants from applying for loans in New York for five years, in addition to blocking the Trump Organization from handling any real estate business for the same period.

Trump and his team have pointed to James’ comments to supporters as she ran for her position.

"We’re definitely gonna sue him, we’re gonna be a real pain in the a--," James once told a supporter on video.

James also once said Trump was an "existential threat," and said "the No. 1 issue in this country is defeating Donald Trump."

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