In a recent turn of events, former President Donald Trump is grappling with a significant financial burden, following the requirement to pay writer E. Jean Carroll a staggering $88.3 million in combined damages from two separate legal battles involving allegations of s-xual assault and defamation.
This substantial sum comes as Judge Arthur Engoron contemplates imposing additional penalties on Trump in the ongoing financial fraud trial. Former Trump biographer Tim O'Brien, in conversation with ex-U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, delved into the financial predicament facing the ex-president.
O'Brien, who has extensively researched Trump's financial affairs, estimated Trump's accessible funds to be around $600 million. However, he highlighted the looming challenge of potential penalties nearing $460 million, a financial hit that could severely impact Trump's fortune.
Trump's Financial Dilemma
Despite assumptions of Trump's net worth being in the vicinity of $3.1 billion, O'Brien emphasized the complexity of mobilizing such assets. He noted that a significant portion of Trump's wealth is tied up in less liquid investments, particularly in real estate.
Consequently, fulfilling the monetary obligations to Carroll could necessitate substantial withdrawals from his cash reserves, a prospect Trump would undoubtedly find distasteful. O'Brien suggested that legal and prosecutorial intervention might be necessary to ensure Carroll's compensation, potentially leading to liens against Trump's assets.
Moreover, O'Brien proposed that Trump's greatest fear is not the threat of incarceration in the ongoing Georgia RICO trial and the two federal cases led by special counsel Jack Smith, but rather the loss of his wealth. He reasoned that these cases primarily pose the risk of prison time, not financial penalties.
Nonetheless, Trump is deeply concerned about the possibility of a guilty verdict and the prospect of serving time, frequently expressing his sense of victimization and directing criticism at the judicial system and its processes.
O'Brien concluded by reflecting on Trump's current predicament, noting that the legal system has finally caught up with him in his 78th year. He also raised the question of whether Trump might successfully delay the legal proceedings, a strategy that could impact the outcomes of these high-profile cases.