Legal Expert Warns of “Domino Effect” as Trump’s Legal Fees Continue Piling Up

Lisa Rubin, MSNBC Legal Correspondent, talked to Alex Wagner after Judge Engoron’s verdict and January verdict that ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll. 

Trump is trying to “delay the reckoning”


Former President Trump’s attorneys asked the Judge to postpone enforcement of a $355 million fine, plus interest, which the host blasted as Trump of trying to “delay the reckoning.” That means putting down the “entire $450 million” as a bond. Every day he fails to do so, it will cost him an additional $87,502 in interest. 

Judge’s brief explanation 

Image by

Wagner reminded of Judge Engoron’s brief explanation sent to Trump’s attorney, Clifford S. Robert. It read, “You have failed to explain, much less justify, any basis for a stay.” Lisa Rubin joined the conversation and spoke about the Judge’s email. She stated that he is very tolerant until he’s not.”

The Judge is “done” 

Image via

Rubin told an anecdote: “A colleague wrote me a text saying, ‘He’s done,'” while referring to the New York Judge’s latest ruling. To that, she responded that the Judge was “done” in November. Following the verdict, Trump lashed out, calling it “unAmerican judgment against me, my family, and my tremendous business.” 

The clock is ticking 

Illustration. Image by

Wagner asked, “If Trump can’t find someone to give him a cool half a billion, what is the next practical step?” Rubin said hypothetically that if Trump does not post the bond, “Laetitia James has to start steps to what’s called executing on the judgment.” James can seize Trump’s personal property or by “trying to seize bank accounts,” Rubin explained. 

James is not Trump’s only creditor

Image by

While explaining the process, Rubin reminded that James is not Trump’s only creditor, adding that he has many and owes them millions, “even hundreds of millions of dollars.” The host showed a list of creditors and wanted to know if James’s next move could scare other creditors. She asked, “Could that be a domino effect? Rubin agreed and explained there are a lot of “complex” parts in this case involving Trump’s businesses, lenders, creditors, etc. 

James’ move 

Image by

Rubin noted that James has to find out which assets can “quickly and easily be liquated without other people in line already.” The legal analyst said, “It could also prompt him to file for personal bankruptcy because, again, in this order, Donald Trump and the business entities that were found liable are jointly and severally liable.”  

No escape 

Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / POOL / AFP

“That means that any one of them can be liable for the whole of the judgment attributed to them, and that also means that Donald Trump can’t escape this just by plunging those business entities themselves into bankruptcy because that would leave him individually on the hook for the totality of it,” Rubin added. 

The only way is “personal bankruptcy”

Illustration. Image by

“The only way to escape it altogether would be to file for personal bankruptcy, which would place an automatic stay on further litigation, including judgment execution,” Rubin stated. She confirmed that Trump can no longer borrow from institutions in New York under the judgment, though that could be appealed. 

Would the public know who borrowed the money? 

Illustration. Image by Feverpitch via

After noting that Rachel Meadow previously said that the loan could reportedly come from another country, Wagner raised the question of whether the public would know who borrowed the money. Rubin answered, “I asked the Attorney General’s office early this week, ‘Would we know, as the public, who loans Trump this money to him? Would you even know, as the Attorney General’s office?’ And I believe the answer was, ‘We are not clear on that.'”

“National security” risk 


Wagner called it a “national security” risk, given that Trump’s running for the highest position in the US, adding, “Foreign interference is a very real thing if you’re talking about Donald Trump.”  

Habba confirmed the bond will be placed

Former US President Donald Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba (front), leaves Trump Tower for Manhattan federal court for the second defamation trial against him, in New York City on January 17, 2024. Writer E. Jean Carroll is seeking more than $10 million in damages in the civil trial, alleging that Trump defamed her in 2019 when he was president and she had just come out with her allegation, saying she "is not my type." This is separate to a civil case last year where another New York jury found Trump liable for sexually assaulting Carroll in a department store dressing room in 1996 and subsequently defaming her in 2022, when he called her a "complete con job." (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
Image by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney in Trump’s New York civil cases, told Fox News that “we will be prepared” to post the bond amount. On the other hand, James said on ABC News, “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.” 

The Judge should be “disrobed”

Photo by Bryan Olin Dozier / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP

In the meantime, Marjorie Taylor Greene defended Trump on X, writing, “Judge Engoron should be disrobed and thrown out, he’s a disgrace!!” Greene added, “Mar-a-lago is worth more now than the ridiculous judgment he ruled against Pres Trump!”

What’s next?

Image by

The Judge formally said Trump owed $454 million in a civil fraud case, meaning that the 30-day clock for an appeal had started. James posted on X on February 23, “Friday feeling: No one is above the law.” 

Watch Wagner and Rubin on YouTube

Read Next: What Really Causes Donald Trump’s Skin to be So Orange

Photo by stock_photo_world /

Former President Donald Trump’s distinctive orange skin has captivated attention, sparking curiosity about its evolution from average pale over the years:

What Really Causes Donald Trump’s Skin to be So Orange

21 of the Biggest Lies in American History

Image by

Dive into the shadows of American history as we explore 21 of its biggest lies that have left an indelible mark on the nation’s narrative:

21 of the Biggest Lies in American History

32 Things We Once Highly Respected but Are a Complete Joke Now

Image credit: Rainer Puster via

Discover the amusing downfall of once-respected entities in our changing world:

32 Things We Once Highly Respected but Are a Complete Joke Now

23 of Donald Trump’s Most Hilarious Moments as President

Image by Evan El-Amin /

Explore the lighter side of Donald Trump’s presidency with 23 hilariously memorable moments that left the nation in stitches:

23 of Donald Trump’s Most Hilarious Moments as President

27 Things MAGA Movement Ruined Forever for People


How the MAGA movement left its mark on individuals and disrupted certain aspects of our everyday life forever:

27 Things MAGA Movement Ruined Forever for People