Donald Trump’s Fight Against $83.3 Million Defamation Penalty Requires High-Value Collateral and Insurance Bond

New York, USA – Former President Donald Trump is set to challenge the $83.3 million defamation penalty imposed by a federal jury in the E. Jean Carroll case. However, before pursuing an appeal, Trump will need to pay the amount in question to the court. This poses a challenge for Trump, as the hefty sum exceeds what most individuals, even the extremely wealthy, have readily available. To meet this requirement, Trump will likely need to obtain an appeal bond, a specialized form of insurance that demands substantial collateral.

Trump will not be able to simply approach a bail bondsman’s office near the courthouse for this bond. Instead, he will require the assistance of a surety-bond agent who can provide a guarantee of payment to Carroll if he does not succeed in his appeal. Mark Levinson, a surety-bond specialist based in Cleveland, Ohio, explains that these bonds are necessary to protect the plaintiff and discourage frivolous appeals.

Typically, an insurance company underwrites the appeal bond, which, in this case, would likely be one of the top 20 insurance companies in the country due to the size of the awarded sum. This policy would then be reinsured through various other insurance carriers. As part of the process, the insurance companies and surety agents will expect Trump to provide collateral of equal value to the bond. This collateral can take the form of cash assets, property, or an irrevocable letter of credit issued by a financial institution.

Concerns have arisen regarding Trump’s ability to secure such a bond. Nevertheless, Levinson expresses confidence that Trump will be able to obtain a letter of credit from a bank or present sufficient assets as collateral. Trump’s legal team in the Carroll case has not yet responded to a request for comment.

To access a bond, Trump will need to furnish extensive financial records as verification of the value of any properties he offers as collateral. The process can be made simpler if Trump secures a credit letter from a bank with which he already has an existing relationship.

Furthermore, underwriters assessing the appeal bond application will consider potential additional litigation Trump may be involved in, along with any potential payouts required. In Trump’s case, the likelihood of such payouts is high. He has already had to pay $5 million in cash while appealing a separate civil suit in New York state court. In that case, Trump was held responsible for sexually abusing Carroll and defaming her. Just last week, a federal jury found Trump liable for making disparaging remarks about Carroll, who had previously accused him of rape. The jury awarded Carroll $83.3 million.

Trump maintains his denial of ever sexually assaulting Carroll, stating that she is “not [his] type.” Additionally, Trump currently awaits the verdict in a civil case brought by the New York state attorney general, who is seeking $370 million in damages and a lifetime ban on Trump working in New York. The allegations revolve around accusations that Trump illegally inflated asset values while seeking insurance and deflated them when paying taxes. Trump asserts that the case is politically motivated. Furthermore, he faces several criminal charges, including racketeering, election tampering, fomenting insurrection, improperly withholding classified documents, and violating campaign finance laws by making hush-money payments to women involved in alleged affairs.

For the appeal bond in the Carroll case, Trump will likely need to pay an annual fee ranging from 1% to 3% of the bond total, depending on the strength of his financial standing and the assets he pledges. This amounts to between $833,000 and $2.5 million each year the appeal is in progress, according to Levinson. However, the bond serves merely as a temporary measure. Ultimately, if Trump loses, he will be personally responsible for paying Carroll the awarded sum. Levinson emphasizes that the chances of Trump having to make such a payment are high, as the majority of appeals do not succeed.