Appearing on MSNBC on Sunday afternoon, Donald Trump biographer and senior executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion, Tim O'Brien, claimed that, should the former president go head-to-head with New York Attorney General Letitia O'Brien and lose the $250 million lawsuit she has filed against him, he will likely have to liquidate his properties --and at fire sale prices.
Speaking with MSNBC host Alex Witt, O'Brien suggested that Trump's worth is wrapped up in his real estate portfolio and he doesn't have access to enough cash to pay penalties and fines if he loses his court battle.
"You say that James' suit won't land the Trumps in prison, only criminal convictions could do that," host Witt prompted. "It seeks to bar the Trumps from running a business in New York state and might unravel the Trump organization. You just heard [former Trump lawyer] Michael Cohen say it could actually wipe Trump out. Is that the way you see it?"
"Well, I think it depends on the extent of damage that the case inflicts and her prosecution inflicts on the Trump family and their businesses," he replied. "Michael is completely right that he has never had a lot of cash on hand, he's almost a debt addict, he has always heavily mortgaged the properties he owns."
"Most of his wealth is tied up in a handful of skyscrapers in New York City," he continued. "Tish James is seeking to bar him from doing business in the state of New York, so he'll have to unload those if he gets convicted. And that is a fire sale, which means everyone who's a buyer will know they won't have to pay top dollar because he needs to get out of the property."
"She has made to two criminal referrals out of this case, one to the IRS and one to the US Attorneys' office in the Southern District [of New York]," he elaborated. "So that is now hanging over his head. I think the family's legacy is in New York, everything that Donald Trump stands on was built by Trump in New York. Trump has put those holdings in peril twice, the first time in the early 90's when he gorged on debt and couldn't repay the banks and again now when he has gotten on the wrong side of the law."
"I think this is an existential threat to his business and his financial well-being," he added.
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