Trials & Litigation

Trump seeks court approval of $91.6 million bond while he appeals E. Jean Carroll verdict

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Former President Donald Trump is facing a cash crunch after losing two trials. (Photo by Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

Donald Trump secured a $91.6 million bond to delay execution of a jury verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit while he appeals, putting to rest questions about whether he could come up with the funds amid a cash crunch.

The bond, arranged with Federal Insurance Co., covers 110% of the $83.3 million damage award levied against him in January by a New York jury, the former president said in a filing Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

Trump on Friday also filed a notice of appeal in the case and asked the court to put the verdict on hold during the challenge. Courts generally require such bonds to ensure the money is available to pay the trial winner if the challenge fails.

Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in November, is facing a cash crunch after losing two trials. In addition to the Carroll verdict, a judge last month ordered Trump to pay $454 million to New York state for inflating the value of his assets by billions of dollars for more than a decade to get better loan terms.

Trump attorney Alina Habba and Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan declined to comment. A representative of Federal Insurance Co. didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cash on hand

The two verdicts far exceed the roughly $400 million in cash Trump has testified he had, raising questions about how he’d cover the awards while he challenges them. He’s also seeking to put on hold the civil fraud judgment, telling an appeals court the verdict could force him to sell properties at a loss. He’s asked to post a smaller bond in that case.

Trump had asked US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversaw the Carroll trial, to delay enforcement of the verdict until at least 30 days after he ruled on his post-trial motions, which were filed this week. But the judge signaled in a preliminary ruling this week that Trump had waited too long—about three weeks—to make the request.

Trump has argued a delay was justified because the motions are likely to reduce the “excessive” verdict, and because his wealth is so great there’s no risk he’ll be unable to post a full bond if he’s eventually ordered to do so.

Carroll’s attorney previously blasted Trump’s purported financial guarantee, calling it “the court filing equivalent of a paper napkin, signed by the least trustworthy of borrowers.”

Carroll went public in 2019 with a claim that Trump had raped her in the 1990s in a department store dressing room in Manhattan. When Trump accused her from the White House of lying to sell a book and to advance a political agenda, she sued him for defamation. According to her complaint, she suffered emotional distress and loss of reputation amid waves of social-media attacks by Trump supporters.

The case is Carroll v. Trump, 20-CV-7311, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

—With assistance from Greg Farrell.

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