Donald Trump has to cut a fat check, and his appeal of the E. Jean Carroll verdict won’t delay that.
Within 30 days of the judge’s written judgment, Trump will have to turn over either cash or a bond.
While he appeals the verdict, Carroll can’t touch that money — but neither can Trump.
Donald Trump’s appeal of his $83.3 million verdict in the E. Jean Carroll trial may keep the money out of her pocket for a year or more, but the former president will still have to cough up at least $90 million — and soon.
The dominos for Trump’s big, looming outlay — covering damages plus court-mandated interest — are already falling or poised to fall.
The first was the January 26 verdict itself.
A federal jury, sitting in Manhattan, found Trump defamed Carroll in 2019 by calling her a liar after she told the world he’d sexually assaulted her. The bulk of the jury award, $65 million, was punitive damages after Trump kept calling Carroll a liar, even during the trial.
The next domino? Clearing up any lingering, post-verdict legal squabbles. That includes Trump’s claim this week that the verdict should be tossed because Carroll’s lead lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, was employed at the same national law firm as the judge — for two years and 30 long years ago.
Once all post-verdict squabbles are settled, the final legal domino will fall, triggering a payment clock to start ticking.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan will issue a written judgment. That’s a one-paragraph order directing Trump to pay his damages. Here, as an example, is the judgment Kaplan issued after last year’s Carroll verdict, the one that ordered he pay $5 million in damages.
Only when that judgment is filed is the trial officially over, allowing Trump’s side to appeal, as his lawyers have promised to do.
Trump will have 30 days, post-judgment, to pay up
Once there’s a judgment, Trump will have 30 days to pay his damages, though an appellate court will almost certainly allow Trump to forgo paying Carroll directly until the appeal is decided.
Trump would have to set the money aside, though, and he can choose to do so in the form of either cash or bond.
Last time around, for the $5 million verdict, Trump went with cash.
Judge Kaplan allowed Trump to deposit roughly $5.5 million into a court-managed account. (The sum included a nine-percent buffer, to guarantee Carroll gets any interest she’s entitled to for having to wait for the money.)
Trump’s $5.5 million is still there, pending the outcome of his appeal of that first verdict, a source familiar with the case told Business Insider, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly. An appellate court will eventually decide if Carroll gets all, some, or none of that $5.5 million.
This time around, Trump can again ask the judge to let him set Carroll’s second, much higher damages award aside in a court-managed account. There it would sit pending appeal, just like the $5.5 million from the first verdict.
If the judge says no — and $90 million is a lot for a court to babysit — Trump will have to secure Carroll’s money through what’s called an appeal bond.
A bond would be a lot more expensive
Taking into account interest and other fees, including the potential need to secure an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank, Trump taking the appeal-bond route could bring his total outlay to $100 million and beyond.
A surety company could make Trump provide an extra 10 percent of collateral, and would require he pay a bond premium of anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million. The premium is money Trump would never see again, according to a surety executive who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Such a large bond could likely only be handled by one of the surety giants — such as Travelers Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Chubb, or JP Morgan Chase, said the expert, whose employer does not allow press statements.
That pending fraud verdict could complicate things
Here’s an added wrinkle.
Within days, a Manhattan judge will issue a verdict in the New York attorney general’s nearly five-year effort to hold Trump accountable for business fraud at the Trump Organization.
The judge has already ruled that Trump exaggerated his net worth by $2 billion or more a year in a decade’s worth of annual financial statements he issued to banks.
Among the penalties the attorney general is hoping for in the upcoming verdict are $370 million in penalties, and a five-year ban on Trump applying for loans from any New York-registered financial institution.
A costly AG verdict and a ban on borrowing would limit Trump’s options when it comes to setting aside Carroll’s damages. He may have to rely on the cash he has on hand to cover both massive verdicts — or even start selling assets.
Lawyers for Carroll and Habba did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this story.
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