New York AG Finds Fault with Trump’s Bond

( – New York’s Democratic Attorney General, Letitia James, has raised concerns about the surety company responsible for covering the $175 million bond for former President Donald Trump, questioning its ability to fulfill its obligation.

Trump posted the $175 million bond on April 1 to prevent the AG from seizing his assets, following an appeals court ruling that allowed him to cover a civil fraud judgment of $464 million by posting the bond, enabling Trump to proceed with his appeal.

Knight Specialty Insurance Company underwrote the bond, committing to cover the $175 million if Trump loses his appeal and defaults on payment. Trump paid a fee to Knight and provided cash collateral to secure the coverage.

However, in a recent court filing, James expressed doubts about the California-based company’s capacity to cover the bond sum. Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over Trump’s civil judgment, provisionally set a hearing for April 22 to address James’ objections.

In the court filing, James pointed out that Knight lacked registration to issue appeal bonds in New York. She demanded that Trump’s lawyers or the company justify the bond within ten days. James seeks clarification on whether Knight, which does not have prior experience in posting a court bond before assisting Trump, can financially fulfill its obligation to pay the $175 million if Trump defaults. Even if Knight lacks funds, it should be able to access the collateral Trump pledged.

Christopher M. Kise, Trump’s lawyer, criticized the AG, describing the case as a baseless and vindictive political crusade. He characterized her objections to the bond as an attempt to incite an equally baseless public quarrel in a desperate effort to regain relevance.

Earlier this year, Judge Engoron imposed fines exceeding $350 million on Trump and the Trump Organization and barred Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years.

Meanwhile, in response to James’ concerns, Knight’s parent company, Knight Insurance Group, asserted its legitimacy and authority to issue the bond through a third party (Excess Line Association of New York), a nonprofit created by the state to facilitate transactions between brokers and regulators.

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