Donald Trump is arguing that he shouldn’t have to post the massive bond in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case against him … because he’s simply too rich.
Trump owes Carroll $83.3 million for defaming her in 2019 when she first accused him of sexual assault. The former president had 30 days to either pay the damages or post a bond required by New York state law to appeal the decision. But Trump’s legal team filed a motion on Friday to delay payment.
“Having argued to the jury that President Trump has great financial resources, Plaintiff is in no position to contradict herself now and contend that she requires the protection of a bond during the brief period while post-trial motions are pending,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.
They argued that Trump’s extreme wealth was security enough that he would eventually pay. The lawyers also suggested that the court project that the total judgment would be reduced on appeal to $22.25 million, requiring a bond of about $24.48 million.
Presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday declined to grant Trump a stay until Carroll’s lawyers had a chance to reply. Carroll’s legal team has until Thursday to respond, and then Trump’s team has until March 2 to reply to them. Kaplan also noted that Trump’s team had waited almost until the end of his payment window to file the request for a stay.
Under New York law, if a person wants to appeal a civil case ruling, they must first post a bond equal to 110 percent of the judgment. In this case, Trump would have to pay $91.63 million in order to appeal the Carroll ruling.
While Trump claims to have plenty of financial assets, the bond would definitely eat significantly into his cash coffers. Trump reportedly holds only about $600 million in liquid assets, not nearly enough to pay the millions he owes in this and other legal penalties.
Trump currently owes Carroll a total of $88.3 million. In addition to the $83.3 million from January, a jury determined last spring that he owes her $5 million for sexually abusing her in the mid-1990s and then defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault.
He was also fined $354 million two weeks ago for real estate–related financial fraud in New York state and temporarily banned from doing business in the state. The presiding judge in that case, Arthur Engoron, gave Trump 30 days to pay the fine. But Engoron also ordered Trump to pay prejudgment interest dating back to March 2019, when New York Attorney General Letitia James first began investigating the Trump Organization.
James’s office has calculated that, including interest, Trump owes more than $450 million. And as Trump tries to delay paying that fine, interest keeps increasing the total amount he owes. According to a penalty calculator created by Associated Press journalist Mike Sislak, as of Tuesday, Trump owes the state of New York $454,604,719.