MSNBC’s Katy Tur: ‘Is this fair to go after Donald Trump like this?’

Another massive civil court ruling against the former president prompted some Monday morning quarterbacking from an MSNBC host.

“Is this fair…”

(Video: MSNBC)

Friday, Judge Arthur Engoron handed down his ruling in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud case, ordering him and the Trump Organization to pay over $350 million for defrauding banks and insurance companies. As the judge also banned Trump and his eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, from running businesses in New York for years, MSNBC’s Katy Tur wondered to her panel about the seemingly victimless offense.

“You don’t have to show that anybody was hurt by your practices. There’s nobody you defrauded specifically,” she explained, referencing an Associated Press report that had looked at nearly 150 cases stretching back almost 70 years to compare with the suit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).

“So, even though the threshold is harm shown, in the past, it has only been used to ban someone doing business when it’s been shown that somebody was hurt,” the host said. “Say you’re selling cosmetics that are poisoning you; there’s somebody that was hurt there, the cosmetics company gets banned.”

“Is this fair to go after Donald Trump like this in this environment, is my question?” wondered Tur.

The panel turned to former New York Assistant Attorney General Tristan Snell, who previously led the legal contest against Trump University for allegedly defrauding students and ended with a $25 million settlement after employing the same statute at hand.

“The legal standard is whether there was a tendency to deceive. That’s what it is, and the legislature in New York made a public policy choice to say that that was an important weapon for the AG’s office to have to vindicate the public good in this situation,” argued Snell.

“And it seems like what Judge Engoron found is there was intention,” added Tur, “not just a tendency, there was intention to deceive.”

MSNBC contributor Suzanne Craig said, “I think, too, the interesting thing about victims is, there were victims here, and they were the banks. They’re just not the most popular victims in society.”

But Tur pressed that the banks, according to their own testimony, “don’t feel like they lost.”

George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley had raised that point as well when he reacted on Fox News’s “The Story” and said in part, “The banks not only said they were not victims and did not complain about the alleged fraud, but they said that they wanted to do more business with Trump. They described him as a whale client. So this is all being done essentially in their name as victims even though no one lost any money.”

To his point, assigning victimhood was precisely what Craig did as she added of the banks not feeling as though they had lost, “They still did, and that’s the conclusion, and that’s where they’re at today. If they had known the facts, they would have charged a higher interest rate. And they lost money.”

Following their debate over whether or not banks were harmed, Tur herself appeared to suffer some blows for the offense of merely questioning prosecuting Trump.

Kevin Haggerty


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