Former President Donald Trump arrived at a New York court on Monday to face a civil fraud trial brought by the state’s attorney general, Letitia James. The trial, which is expected to last for several weeks, will determine whether Trump and his family business engaged in a decade-long scheme to inflate their assets and defraud lenders, insurers, and tax authorities.
Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, has called the lawsuit a “witch hunt” and a “racist attack” by James, a Democrat who has been a vocal critic of his presidency. He also accused the judge, Arthur Engoron, of being biased against him. Engoron ruled last week that Trump and his co-defendants were liable for “persistent and repeated” fraud, based on undisputed evidence.
The lawsuit seeks to recover $250 million in damages and penalties from Trump, his sons Eric and Don Jr., the Trump Organization, and several of its executives. It also seeks to ban them from serving as directors of any New York-based nonprofit for 10 years.