Trump may lose his namesake Trump Tower if he can’t pay $464m bond. Here’s what New Yorkers think

“KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF TRUMP TOWER!” the ex-president said in a recent memo

Kelly Rissman
New York City
Saturday 23 March 2024 12:04 GMT
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What New Yorkers think of Trump Tower being under threat of seizure

As Donald Trump looks increasingly unlikely to secure a bond to satisfy his $464m civil fraud judgment, New York Attorney General Letitia James has not been shy about the potential for her to seize his assets — perhaps including his New York City namesake, Trump Tower.

The former president and presumptive GOP 2024 presidential nominee has approached “about 30 surety companies through four separate brokers,” his attorneys said, but have so far come back empty-handed in the face of “insurmountable difficulties”.

Last month, Ms James said that “if he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has sent a message loud and clear that he does not want his precious Trump Tower being taken away from him. A fundraising message to his supporters read: “KEEP YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF TRUMP TOWER!”

The Independent staked out Trump Tower, where tourists, locals, and mask-covered Trump impersonators collide, to take a temperature check on the possibility that the attorney general could seize the golden-plated property.

The Independent speaks to an anti-Trump button seller outside of Trump Tower
The Independent speaks to an anti-Trump button seller outside of Trump Tower (The Independent)

“That’s scary because Trump is an amazing person. So having people do this to him is just unfair,” one teenager said. When asked about the lawsuits he’s up against, he replied, “Everyone makes mistakes.”

Another man, wearing a Trump-branded cap, said he had “no thoughts” on the issue before adding, “Hopefully it doesn’t happen.”

Ms James “probably should focus on the real crime in New York,” the man added.

Another man, who has been selling anti-Trump buttons outside of Trump Tower since 2016, said, “If [Ms James] can seize it and that will take care of the money, then great!”

Trump Tower
Trump Tower (The Independent)

He added the caveat: “It will certainly take away from me” and his business. “But I don’t care. I’m not here for that, I’m here to get rid of him.”

One of his signs says, “Lost our lease. Everything must go.”

The button seller, known online as @TTbuttonguys_2020, said he saw a spike of sales after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month.

He also weighed in on the mountain of legal battles Mr Trump faces: “I think when you do criming, eventually it catches up to you.”

Trump ex-press secretary reveals properties former president fears losing most

Two Trump Tower employees approached by The Independent declined to comment.

Ms James has previously said that if Mr Trump doesn’t have the funds, “then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court and we will ask the judge to seize his assets.”

The Independent speaks to a Trump Tower security guard
The Independent speaks to a Trump Tower security guard (The Independent)

Entering a judgment signals that her office is beginning the process of taking possession of Mr Trump’s properties.

Since the civil fraud trial took place in Manhattan, where Trump Tower is located, a judgement has already been registered. However, Trump Tower may not be the most at-risk buildings owned by the former president.

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin noted, “don’t expect Trump Tower to top [the attorney general’s] list” because there is a large outstanding loan of more than $50m on the property.

Another Trump-owned Manhattan property, 40 Wall Street, similarly has a mortgage worth more than $50m.

Earlier on Thursday, it was revealed that attorney general’s office has already taken steps toward recovering some of the former president’s assets.

Filings from earlier this month revealed that state attorneys have entered the judgment from the Manhattan civil fraud trial with the county clerk’s office in New York’s Westchester County — home to the former president’s Seven Springs estate and his Trump National Golf Club Westchester.

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