Large Shares Of U.S. Say Trump’s Clearly Culpable Amid Letitia James’ Case


Large shares of the public believe that former President Donald Trump did roughly as alleged amid a fraud case from New York state Attorney General Letitia James, which has been nearing the end of the trial stage. (Strictly speaking, trial is over. Presentations in court by James’ and Trump’s teams have concluded for now, though a subsequent decision by presiding Judge Arthur Engoron (there’s no jury) hasn’t yet been issued.)

The data on Americans’ perspectives on the fraud case from James comes from polling done by YouGov in collaboration with The Economist, which was completed January 16. “Do you believe Donald Trump misreported the value of his properties on official documents to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits, or not?” poll participants were asked, and 48 percent of general respondents answered in the affirmative — a portion rising to 51 percent among registered voters, 53 percent among urban residents, and an even half among suburbanites.

The benefits on loans allegedly obtained in connection to misrepresentations of assets’ true values included lower levels of interest. The idea is that the misrepresentations painted the Trumps’ financial state as better than the reality, and an expert witness who previously showed up in court on the state’s behalf estimated savings for various Trump business entities on interest at just past $168 million. And those calculations, whose presentation in court preceded an update from the state on the steep financial penalties they were seeking, covered just four Trump properties, including the now defunct hotel operation in Washington, D.C.

The same hotel was among the four properties where $7.8 million mostly in foreign government money was spent during the early parts of Trump’s time as president, according to Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on that panel, has accused Trump of violating Constitutional restrictions on office-holders accepting things of value from foreign sources, demanding the sum be produced from Trump’s financial coffers for the U.S. Treasury to cover for past inflows.