New York AG questions whether California company can handle Trump's $175M bond

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- New York Attorney General Letitia James questioned Thursday whether the California company that underwrote former President Donald Trump's $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case is financially qualified to handle a bond of that size.

In a court filing, James requested that Knight Specialty Insurance Company submit papers demonstrating it is financially capable of paying the bond should Trump lose his appeal in the case.

The California company is not registered with the New York Department of Financial Services.

The dispute is part of the nearly half-billion-dollar civil fraud judgment imposed on the former president after New York Judge Arthur Engoron in February found Trump and his adult sons liable for using "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" to inflate his net worth in order to get more favorable loan terms.

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has appealed the decision in the case.

In a brief interview with ABC News, the chairman of Knight Specialty's parent company, Don Hankey, said he had "no concerns at all."

"Seldom do our applications or our bonds get turned down," said Hankey. "I imagine it is being scrutinized very carefully, and they're checking to make sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed."

"It's a large amount for anybody," Hankey said.

Trump's defense attorney, Christopher Kise, blasted the attorney general for questioning the surety.

"Yet another witch hunt!" Kise said in a statement provided to ABC News. "After hiding out in silence following an embarrassing loss in the First Department ... the Attorney General now seeks to stir up some equally baseless public quarrel in a desperate effort to regain relevance."

Judge Engoron has scheduled a hearing to discuss the bond on April 22.

Thursday, April 4, 2024 at 5:04PM by Aaron Katersky and Peter Charalambous, ABC News Permalink