Last week, a New York Supreme Court Justice granted New York attorney general Letitia James’ request that former President Donald Trump’s businesses be overseen by an independent monitor.  After a day long hearing, the Judge, Arthur Engoron, issued an order than the Trump Organization’s financial dealings are now subject to third-party monitor to be named by the court.

via Twitter

In the order, Trump is required to give the court 14-days notice before he can dispose of any “non-cash asset” listed in financial statements prepared by his firm last year.

Trump’s lawyers strongly objected to the order, pleading with Judge Engoron to reject AG James’ bid to impose far-reaching supervision of Trump’s businesses as her litigation with Trump over claims that the Trump Org engaged in bank and insurance fraud in many real estate transactions for decades.

The judge agreed that the claims of fraud were “more than sufficient” to indicate that AG James will prevail in the lawsuit she filed two months ago. James’ suit seeks to ban Trump from conducting future business in the state of New York.

Trump Tower via Flickr / R Boed https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

James’ responded to the court’s order in a statement:

“Time and time again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump cannot evade the law for personal gain. Today’s decision will ensure that Donald Trump and his companies cannot continue the extensive fraud that we uncovered and will require the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance at the Trump Organization. No number of lawsuits, delay tactics, or threats will stop our pursuit of justice.”

Trump’s spokespeople argued that the judge was merely helping James’ for political reasons.  James was reelected to her position in Tuesday’s midterm elections, and Trump continued his long verbal battle with her in a statement:

“A puppet judge of the New York Attorney General and other sworn enemies of President Trump and the Republican Party has just issued a ruling never before seen anywhere in America. It is Communism come to our shores.”

Later, at a rally, Trump called Engoron “a radical left lunatic judge,” and continued to attack James, the New York AG’s office, and the DOJ:

“They’re weaponizing the Justice Department. They weaponized things that are not supposed to be weaponized. Companies are already fleeing New York, as you probably read … What they’re doing in New York is unbelievably sad, and it’s all coming from Washington D.C.”

Engoron, skeptical of Trump’s arguments throughout the hearing, concluded:

“Although not dispositive on any single issue, this Court is permitted, and is here persuaded, to draw a negative inference from Mr. Trump’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment right … more than 400 times in response to questions posed to him during his deposition.”

via Twitter

According to reports from earlier this week, Trump will appeal the decision.

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Christopher Powell