Florida’s chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, suggested providing public funding for former President Trump’s legal defense to fight “liberal prosecutors” as he battles fraud allegations.
Patronis floated the proposal on Monday amid Trump’s civil fraud trial that stemmed from a lawsuit brought against him, his family and his businesses by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“Why not provide public funding for a Presidential nominee (who’s a Floridian) when DOJ is after them?” Patronis posted on X. “Are we really going to deny one of our own a fair shot against a witch hunt? We didn’t start this, Biden and liberal prosecutors did. They’re ones trying to deny a fair election.”
James, a Democrat, brought a civil lawsuit against Trump last year, alleging he and his company misled banks and others about the value of his assets.
James claimed that Trump’s children – Donald Jr. Ivanka and Eric – as well as his associates and businesses committed “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” on their financial statements and wants a $250 million penalty imposed on Trump’s businesses.
Trump testified on the stand Monday and said James is “trying to hurt” him for “political reasons” while denouncing the “very unfair” and unprecedented non-jury civil fraud trial.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly said his assets were undervalued. He has expressed his financial statements had disclaimers, requesting that the banks evaluate the numbers.
Throughout the process, Trump has labeled James a “radical-left attorney general.”
“The Attorney General filed this case under a consumer protection statute that denies the right to a jury,” a Trump spokesperson previously said.
“There was never an option to choose a jury trial. It is unfortunate that a jury won’t be able to hear how absurd the merits of this case are and conclude no wrongdoing ever happened.”
New York City Judge Arthur Engoron is presiding over Trump’s case and wields unique authority. It is a jury-free bench trial, with Engoron overseeing it and ultimately determining its outcome and penalties.
The former president has dismissed Engoron as a “Democrat” and an “operative.”
Engoron, meanwhile, has exclusively donated to Democrats in the past.
Last month, Engoron ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.