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Trump Hit With Double Whammy in Legal Battles

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Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers are scrambling to respond to not one, but two major court developments.

Trump’s defense team received not-so-welcome news on Tuesday in both a civil and criminal trial. Moments after a federal appeals court rejected Trump’s presidential immunity claim, the judge in Trump’s New York fraud case demanded answers about whether or not one of Trump’s associates lied on the stand.

In a new email, Judge Arthur Engoron asked both Trump’s defense team and Attorney General Letitia James to respond to reports that former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg had committed perjury during the fraud trial, suggesting that he would factor the alleged crimes into his ruling, which will decide the fate of Trump’s real estate empire.

“As the article notes ‘perjury—particularly in a high-profile trial—undermines the broader ends of justice and cannot be ignored,'” Engoron wrote Tuesday, quoting a New York Times article from last week that reported on Weisselberg’s negotiations with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “I do not want to ignore anything in a case of this magnitude.”

Former President Donald Trump on January 22, 2024, in Laconia, New Hampshire. Trump’s lawyers are scrambling to respond to not one, but two major court developments.

Chip Somodevilla

Engoron told both sides that they had until 5 pm on Wednesday to respond to the new reports and provide him with an idea of how they believe he should “address this matter, if at all, including the timing of the final decision.”

His email comes on the heels of a federal appeals court decision that rejected Trump’s immunity claim and allowed for Special Counsel Jack Smith to continue prosecuting the former president on the four criminal charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has called the probe a political “witch hunt.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.