Presidential impunity / Legislative obscenity

Donald Trump, multicolored, shiny, very close up face, speaking at a rally in Arizona
Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Today: Sam Thielman, a reporter, critic, essayist, editor, and graphic novel columnist for the New York Times; and Jennie Rose Halperin, digital strategist and librarian at NYU's Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy.

Issue No. 41

Maybe Trump Is Wrong
Sam Thielman

Don't Put Librarians in Jail
Jennie Rose Halperin

Maybe Trump Is Wrong

by Sam Thielman

Donald Trump owes the state of New York $466 million. Like anyone else, he had been ordered to post a bond worth the entire amount by Monday, the 25th of March, irrespective of whether he wins back some part of the money on appeal. That day, a panel of five judges reduced the amount of Trump’s bond to $175 million, and gave him an extra ten days to pay it. Trump will continue to appeal the judgment, but with less urgency now; New York State Attorney General Letitia James is far less likely to begin unwinding the interlocking businesses around his investments in order to get at the principal, if any, protected by them. 

This is not the biggest deal in the world, at least on paper. Trump was never going to end up arguing with the cashier at Key Food over whether his EBT card ought to pay for a Boar’s Head rotisserie chicken, no matter how delightful that sounds. He was rich yesterday, he is rich today, he will be rich tomorrow. Wealth is an inherited condition, like eye color or blood type.

But the decision does do something much more important for Trump than help him hang on to real estate equity stakes that are already so over-leveraged he can no longer borrow against them: It proves the central plank of his two presidential campaigns fundamentally correct. 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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