Trump Can Post Smaller Bond in Civil Fraud Case, Court Rules

With Donald J. Trump on the clock to secure a nearly half-billion dollar bond in his civil fraud case, a New York appeals court appears to have handed the former president a lifeline on Monday, accepting a far smaller bond of $175 million.

The ruling by a five-judge panel of appellate court judges is a crucial and unexpected victory for the former president, potentially staving off a looming financial disaster. Had the court denied his request — and had he failed to obtain the full bond — Mr. Trump was at risk of losing control over his bank accounts and, eventually, even some of his marquee properties.

For now, those dire outcomes might be on hold. The bond would prevent the New York attorney general’s office, which brought the fraud case against Mr. Trump, from collecting the judgment while Mr. Trump appeals.

Mr. Trump has 10 days to obtain the bond, and two people with knowledge of his finances said he should be able to secure it by then.

An appeal bond is a promise from an outside company that it will cover his judgment if he ultimately cannot pay. In order to obtain one, Mr. Trump must pay the bond company a fee and pledge a sizable sum of cash as collateral. Mr. Trump need not turn over the collateral for now, but the bond company would be entitled to collect it if he failed to pay.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers had asked the appeals court to either accept a smaller bond or pause the bond requirement altogether. They argued that the court would be likely to overturn the trial judge’s $454 million penalty once it heard the substance of his appeal, contending that it was “grossly disproportionate and unconstitutional.”

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