“It’s essentially the equivalent of the corporate death penalty for the Trump Organization in New York state,” Conway said on CNN on Tuesday night.
Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump committed fraud for years by overvaluing his assets and net worth to obtain loans, and ordered the dissolution of some of former president’s companies.
Trump claimed the ruling was a violation of his civil rights, and insisted that he had “done business perfectly.”
But Conway explained that the judge found Trump guilty of violating the Martin Act, “an extremely powerful weapon that the state can use against fraudsters.”
He said the act doesn’t require proof of fraudulent intent, and doesn’t require evidence that the false numbers were relied on by anyone. All it requires are that the numbers are false.
And in Trump’s case “there was no dispute that the numbers were false, and substantially so,” Conway noted.
Conway said the act allows for “extraordinary remedies,” including stripping a company of its ability to do business in the state and ordering the dissolution of the business, which is what the judge decided on Tuesday.
“No matter what he finds in the damages phase of this trial, the Trump organization is out of business,” he said. “And that’s not good for Donald Trump.”
Trump vowed to appeal.
Conway spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Laura Coates:
Other legal experts also commented on what the ruling means for the former president and his family business: