US

The crown has slipped from the humiliated King of New York’s head

For the self-styled “King of New York”, the crown has slipped – and how.

Donald Trump made his money and reputation in the New York real estate business, propelling him to celebrity and to the White House in 2016.

As his property portfolio towered high, so did Donald Trump – the brand.

It, and he, look more than a tad tawdry today.

This civil fraud trial exposed a scam in which Trump exaggerated his wealth by more than $3bn (£2.38bn).

The Trump organisation displayed a routine disregard for the law as it sought to build the empire and it continues beyond this judgment.

To quote the judgment of Judge Arthur Engoron: “Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological.”

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Justice Arthur Engoron speaks during the trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump
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Justice Arthur Engoron

Now, for three years, Trump can’t personally run a business in New York – this, a man who is asking US voters to let him run the country.

To compound his humiliation, the judge saddled his organisation with a “monitor” to give prior approval of financial dealings.

The financial dealing that will exercise him, of course, is the matter of the $355m (£281.6m) plus interest that he has to produce – that, on top of the $90m (£71.4m) he has been ordered to pay to writer E Jean Carroll for sexual abuse and defamation.

Trump may have a reported net worth of around $2bn but this penalty will test his reserves of ready cash.

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‘It’s a witch hunt against political opponent’

He plans to appeal against the ruling, declaring it a “witch hunt” by a “crooked New York State judge, working with a totally corrupt attorney general.”

It is a well-worn refrain that resonates with a particular audience – his audience.

Notions of injustice and persecution speak to Trump’s support base. It will be further tested as the court calendar begins to kick in.

However much it has warmed his political prospects thus far, courtroom trials can carry cold, hard consequences.

As Donald Trump is finding out.

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