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Trump Arranges $91.6 Million Bond to Appeal Carroll Verdict

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump secured a $91.6 million bond to delay paying the verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case while he appeals, putting to rest questions about whether he could come up with the funds amid a cash crunch.

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The bond, arranged by Chubb Ltd.’s Federal Insurance Co., covers 110% of the $83.3 million award levied against him in January by a New York jury, his lawyer Alina Habba said in a court filing Friday in Manhattan. Trump had a March 11 deadline to pay the verdict or post a bond.

Trump, campaigning to return to the White House amid a torrent of legal troubles, is facing a cash squeeze after losing two high-stakes trials. Three weeks after the Carroll verdict, a judge ordered Trump to pay $454 million to New York state for inflating his net worth by billions of dollars a year to get better loan terms. He’ll need to post a bond in that case by March 25.

Read More: Keeping Up With Trump and His Trials — A Timeline of Court Dates

The former president also filed a notice of appeal in the Carroll case on Friday and asked the court to put the verdict on hold during the challenge, a request that’s bolstered by posting the bond. Courts generally require such bonds to ensure the money is available to pay the trial winner if the appeal fails.

“A bond has been filed in the full amount of the baseless judgment in the Democrat-funded Carroll Witch Hunt, which is being appealed and litigated,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.

Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan declined to comment.

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‘Least Trustworthy of Borrowers’

Carroll went public in 2019 with a claim that Trump had raped her in the 1990s in a department store dressing room in Manhattan. She sued him for defamation after he accused her from the White House of lying to sell a book and to advance a political agenda. According to her complaint, she suffered emotional distress and her reputation was hurt amid waves of social media attacks by Trump supporters.

Trump has argued the Carroll verdict is likely to be reduced on appeal because Carroll’s reputation wasn’t damaged as much as she claims, and because her fame actually increased after Trump called her a liar.

Last month Carroll objected to Trump’s attempt to delay posting the bond, which hinged on his guarantee that he is rich enough to pay her if he loses the appeal. Her lawyer called his request “the court filing equivalent of a paper napkin, signed by the least trustworthy of borrowers.”

The judge didn’t rule on Trump’s request for a delay. On Friday he gave Carroll until Monday to file any opposition to the “form, amount or surety of the proposed bond” and said he would hold a hearing the same day on any dispute.

The bond document, signed by Trump and his lawyers on March 5, didn’t include details on how much cash or other assets he may have posted as collateral. But a recent court filing by Trump in his appeal of the New York civil fraud verdict said he has an array of properties in the state that can be used to pay that verdict if his challenge fails, including 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley and Trump Park Avenue.

Trump has asked the appeals court to let him post a bond of $100 million in the civil fraud case, arguing that 110% of the full verdict would hurt his finances.

Cash Crunch

The two verdicts far exceed the roughly $400 million in cash Trump has testified he has, raising questions about how he would cover the awards while he challenges them. He’s also seeking to put the civil fraud judgment on hold, telling an appeals court the verdict could force him to sell properties at a loss. He has asked to post a smaller bond in that case.

Judge Kaplan, who oversaw the Carroll trial, issued a brief order Thursday night criticizing Trump’s lawyers for taking too long to file their request to delay the verdict. The judge was unmoved by Trump’s arguments about potential financial strain.

“Mr. Trump’s current situation is a result of his own dilatory actions,” the judge said. “He has had since Jan. 26 to organize his finances with the knowledge that he might need to bond this judgment, yet he waited until 25 days after the jury verdict” to seek the stay.

The award, levied by a jury of seven men and two women, includes $18.3 million in compensation for harm caused to Carroll’s reputation plus $65 million in punitive damages to penalize Trump and deter him from engaging in any future defamation.

The case is Carroll v. Trump, 20-cv-7311, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--With assistance from Greg Farrell.

(Updates with Trump’s arguments starting in sixth paragraph.)

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