Lowering Trump’s Bond With Little Explanation ‘Shouldn’t Have Happened,’ Expert Insists

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During a discussion on MSNBC this Monday, Tristan Snell — formerly with the New York state Attorney General’s office — lambasted the manner in which a New York appeals court handled lowering a bond for Donald Trump in a massive (civil) fraud case this week.

Trump was facing demands to produce a bond covering the entirety of his nearly half a billion dollars in penalties to hold off collections amid appeals, but the involved appeals court lowered Trump’s required bond to $175 million, giving him ten days. And the court did this without much of an explanation, prioritizing instead outlining the basics of their final decision. Snell said that the approach — leaving explanations out — was somewhat common in New York’s state courts.

“The exception to this — wonderfully, because I think it was very helpful for all of us to see — was what we got out of Judge Engoron, where he issued these long and very carefully thought out orders explaining exactly where his analysis came from and how he arrived at the conclusions that he arrived at,” Snell said, referencing the judge who handled the trial in this case. “And then to have that come from him and then have this other set of judges just show up and just squish it. They just drop a bomb on this, and they don’t give us any explanation at all. Yeah, that’s enormously frustrating, and I would say it’s wrong. It just shouldn’t have happened.”

Snell argued during the same discussion that Trump’s favorable outcome at the appeals level was out of the ordinary for what ordinary defendants would face.

Trump was complaining in the lead-up to the deadline for the initially required bond this week about needing to produce any bond at all, so the remaining requirements of $175 million are still somewhat of a loss for the former president when considered from that angle.