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Trump slams civil fraud ruling as he faces potentially more than half-a-billion dollars in fines

In addition to slamming New York officials, Trump also criticized special counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Published: February 18, 2024 10:33am

Updated: February 18, 2024 11:22am

Former President Donald Trump slammed the judge who ordered him to pay more than $350 million in the New York civil fraud case and he criticized multiple prosecutors with cases against him during a campaign event in Michigan as he faces penalties that may exceed a half-a-billion dollars.

Trump told a crowd Saturday in Waterford Township, Mich., that New York Judge Arthur Engoron is a "crooked" and "radical left-wing judge" after he ordered Trump on Friday to pay about $355 million in New York Democratic Attorney General Letitia James' civil fraud case.

He called Engoron's decision "an unconstitutional atrocity that sets fire to our laws like no one has ever seen in this country before.

"That happens in banana republics. It doesn't happen in our country. The case is a complete and total sham." 

He also called James a "crazed lunatic." Trump has vowed to appeal the decision.

Trump also took aim at the special counsel who brought two indictments against him for alleged interference in the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents, calling the prosecutor "deranged Jack Smith." Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges brought by Smith.

The former president also mocked Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ name, asking the crowd, "What do you think of Fawni? What do you think, Fawni? F-A-N-I, that's pronounced Fanny, but you're not allowed to say, it's Fawni."

Willis is under fire for her romantic relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she hired in the Georgia state case against Trump and 18 others for allegedly attempting to alter the 2020 election results in Fulton County. Trump has also pleaded not guilty to those charges. 

In addition to the $355 million fine in New York, Trump was also ordered to pay $83.3 million to author E. Jean Carroll as a result of her second defamation case against the former president. In a separate case in May 2023, a jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll nearly $5 million for battery and defamation. 

When including interest, Trump's legal debts may be more than half-a-billion dollars, according to The Associated Press

Trump also faces mounting legal bills, and his political action committees paid more than $50 million in legal bills last year. His legal bills may increase in 2024 as he potentially faces two federal criminal trials and two state criminal trials, among other civil trials. 

Trump's net worth is estimated to be $2.6 billion, per Forbes, but it is unclear how the fines would affect this number. 

Regardless, Trump, the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee, is far ahead of Biden in the swing state of Michigan, according to the latest polls. 

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