MSNBC Host Orders Trump Judge To Explain Himself Over Trump Sentencing

By Victor Winston, updated on February 17, 2024

Former President Donald Trump faces a considerable financial and professional setback in a landmark ruling.

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Donald Trump to pay nearly $355 million in damages and prohibited him from operating his business in New York for three years following a civil fraud case initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The Repercussions of a Historic Ruling

The discussion around this case took a prominent spot in mainstream media, notably on MSNBC, where host Katy Tur raised questions about the fairness of the legal proceedings. Given the absence of proven harm to any party by Trump's business engagements, Tur's inquiry into whether the legal standards applied were justified echoes a broader debate. Trump's defense has pointed out that his business operations did not result in financial losses for banks or insurers.

Tristan Snell, a former New York Assistant Attorney General, contributed to the discourse by detailing the "tendency to deceive" as a key legal principle underlying the judge's decision. According to Snell, this principle signifies a deliberate intention to mislead, which the New York legislature considered a significant factor in enabling the Attorney General's office to pursue such cases for the public good. This interpretation of the law clarifies the grounds on which Engoron based his judgment.

The use of a particular statute by Judge Engoron, which does not necessitate proving harm to individuals or entities for enforcement, has sparked a considerable debate concerning its fairness and application. Katy Tur noted that this might be the inaugural instance of the statute's application in such a manner, marking a potentially unprecedented use in its 70-year history across 150 cases.

A Closer Look at the Legal Debate

Legal experts, including MSNBC legal correspondent Lisa Rubin, discussed the implications of this ruling. Rubin acknowledged the concerns about the absence of direct victims but highlighted the broader legal and ethical implications of such business practices.

Suzanne Craig, an MSNBC contributor, supported this position by pointing out that despite their less favorable public image, banks suffered from Trump's deceptive practices. This counters the argument by Trump's defense and shifts the narrative toward recognizing the more subtle forms of victimization at play.

Understanding the Impact on Business Practices

Friday's announcement by Judge Arthur Engoron sent ripples through legal, political, and business communities. This decision impacts Trump and his business operations and sets a precedent for how similar cases might be approached in the future.

The discussion on "MSNBC Reports" with Katy Tur following the ruling highlights the complexities and nuances of legal statutes and their application in high-profile cases. The debate on whether the statute's use was fair in this context has wider implications for the legal system and its handling of civil fraud cases.

Judge Engoron's finding of intentional deception by Trump, as highlighted by Katy Tur, underscores the serious nature of the allegations and the rigorous application of legal principles in reaching the verdict. This aspect of intentionality is crucial in understanding the basis of the ruling and its implications for future legal proceedings in similar cases.


The ruling against Donald Trump by Judge Arthur Engoron, the subsequent financial penalties, and the operational ban marks a significant moment in legal history. The discussions led by Katy Tur and various legal experts shed light on the complexities of the case, including the use of specific legal statutes without the need to prove harm and the interpretation of intention to deceive as a basis for judgment. This case has profound implications for Donald Trump and his business operations and the broader legal landscape in New York and potentially beyond.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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