Late-night hosts celebrated the announcement on Wednesday morning by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, that her office had filed a lawsuit against Trump and his family for “staggering” bank, tax and insurance fraud. According to the lawsuit, Trump valued Mar-a-Lago at $739m when it was worth only $75m, and claimed an 11,000 sq ft apartment was actually 30,000 sq ft – “which is the same strategy he’s used for years with his penis” , said Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night.
The lawsuit contains more than 200 allegations of fraud, “which, of course! Fraud is who he is,” said Kimmel. “Charging Donald Trump with fraud is like charging Lizzo with juice. It’s his essence.”
Kimmel also touched on rumors that Trump is upset with Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, for stealing his idea to trick asylum seekers into boarding a plane for Martha’s Vineyard. On Wednesday, Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, told CNN that Trump had the same idea. According to Taylor, Trump directed the department to gather up migrants, sort out the “murderers” and “rapists” and bus them to Democrat-run cities.
“This was his plan. He wanted to send rapists to Detroit and Seattle and Chicago and Boston. This is what our president wanted to do,” said Kimmel. “And they complain Joe Biden is divisive. There seems to be no bottom to this – every time you think you’ve heard the craziest, angriest, most horrible thing possible, something worse comes out.
“By the way,” he added, “if Trump wants to send a rapist somewhere, he can just hop on the bus himself.”
Seth Meyers also delved into the new lawsuit brought against Trump by the New York state attorney general’s office, which is asking a judge to order the Trump Organization pay back $250m in defrauded assets.
“Two hundred and fifty million dollars! To pay that he’d probably have to sell Mar-a-Lago and move in with Rudy,” joked Seth Meyers on Late Night.
“I doubt Trump can afford to just fork over $250m,” he added. “Something tells me his supporters are about to get a bunch of frantic emails that say ‘President Trump needs your help to prove the election was stolen, click here to donate $1, $5 or $250m.’”
Trump also faces multiple criminal investigations for the January 6 insurrection and for stealing classified documents that he kept in the basement of Mar-a-Lago. “Now, there’s no way of knowing if Trump broke the law, except he definitely did and it’s fucking crazy we have to entertain the idea that he didn’t,” said Meyers. “No one loses a job and gets to take whatever you want on your way out the door, especially if you work for the government.”
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert also examined the charges brought against Trump and his family. According to the lawsuit, Trump would fraudulently inflate the value of his properties so he could use them as collateral for huge loans.
“And when it comes to faking the numbers, Letitia James isn’t,” said Colbert. “She has the receipts, over 200 of them,” including claims from Trump’s company that a dozen rent-stabilized apartments were worth more than $49.5m, when in fact they had been appraised at a combined $750,000.
“That is 65 times less money. And it’s no surprise – the president is known for inflated assets,” Colbert joked over a picture of Trump in tennis shorts.
“I’m guessing this press conference got the ex-prez ranked to his cankles, because the one thing he hates more than anything is people hearing he’s not as rich as he claims he is,” he added.
Mar-a-Lago, for example, is valued at $75m, but Trump claimed it was worth $739m. “Well of course it’s worth less now! The FBI just took away all the most re-sealable documents,” Colbert quipped.
James has asked a judge to revoke the Trump Organization’s business certificate, bar family members from being officers of any business of the state and institute a five-year ban on the family from acquiring any real estate or business loans from any company in New York.
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah opened with James’s closing lines from the press conference: “Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It’s the art of the steal.”
“Ooh, Donald Trump is in trouble now, because when a prosecutor uses a rhyme, you’re about to do time,” said Noah.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’m not optimistic,” he continued. “But if half of what Trump is saying is true, Trump is an even bigger conman than we all thought.”
“These are not small amounts,” Noah continued, pointing to the discrepancy between Trump’s 11,000 sq ft apartment that he claimed was 30,000 sq ft. “Which is a lie. So this man is going to be the first person to ever get in legal trouble for claiming his apartment is a grower not a show-er.
“It would be so funny if this is what takes Trump down,” he added. “Can you imagine? He tries to overthrow the government, but they get him for lying about having an in-unit washer-dryer.”