money trouble

Trump Got His $175 Million Bond. Now What?

Ruling Expected In Former President Donald Trump’s New York Civil Fraud Trial
Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Monday night, three days before a judge-imposed deadline, Donald Trump posted bond in his business-fraud case, which will allow him to appeal the $454 million judgement levied against him last month.

According to a court filing, Trump secured a bond for $175 million from Knight Specialty Insurance Company, a firm chartered in Delaware that specializes in surety bonds and other forms of insurance. Its chairman, Don Hankey, is a billionaire who got rich offering high-interest-rate loans to car buyers with bad credit in California. “We’re happy to be able to accommodate the ex-president in this situation,” Hankey told ABC News. “I’d say it’s more of a business decision, but I happen to be a supporter also.” Hankey said that he and Trump’s team were in discussions to cover the full $454 million before an appellate court last week knocked that number down significantly.

Now that a fan has come to his rescue, where does that leave Trump? He will be able to move forward on his appeal knowing that New York attorney general Letitia James cannot freeze his bank accounts or seize his assets as his appeal plays out in the coming months. But for the moment, no money will actually be handed over to the state. As the New York Times notes, the bond is “a legal document, not an actual transfer of money,” that vows to cover the $175 million sum if Trump loses the appeal and fails to pay.

Trump, however, would have had to put up at least the $175 million in cash to secure the bond. (Typically, an arrangement of this kind would require a client to put up 125 percent of the bond amount, but given Hankey’s political support, those terms could be flexible in his case.) Combine that with the $91.6 million bond Trump put up to appeal the E. Jean Carroll defamation verdict, and Trump is now out of $267 million as the long appeals process unfurls in the two cases. Estimates suggest Trump had $350 million in cash and liquid assets as of late last year, meaning Trump is left with a ballpark figure of $80 million — or possibly less, depending on the terms of the bond deals. So even if the Republican National Committee is committed to paying its candidate’s legal fees in the four upcoming criminal cases, things are going to be a little tight for Trump this year.

Trump Got His $175 Million Bond. Now What?