Breaking: Trump's $175 million bond in jeopardy: NY AG doubts its validity

MSNBC's legal correspondent, Lisa Rubin, reports that the New York Attorney General is doubtful that Knight Specialty Insurance Company has the ability to cover Donald Trump's $175 million bond that allowed him to appeal the $464 million fraud judgment against him in his New York civil case.

Transcript of video:

Chris Jansing: Breaking news in Donald Trump's civil fraud case. The New York Attorney General has filed notice questioning essentially the financial strength of the company that posted his bond and whether it can cover the cost. I want to bring back MSNBC legal correspondent Lisa Rubin, who is frantically looking at her phone because this is literally just breaking. So this is $175 million right? So there's a question about whether they're really covering it in a sufficient way. Is that it?

Lisa Rubin: Let's go back for a second. So this morning, Knight Specialty Insurance Company filed a corrected version of the bond that attached among other things its financial statements and showed what its assets were as of the end of last year — that's December 31st, 2023. It has over $537 million in assets and what the Attorney General's Office is saying, "The cash it has on hand is less than the bond" and they need to know because specifically is not admitted under New York's Department of Financial Service, it's not a New York insurer, and because it doesn't have qualifications in New York State, they are entitled to ask for what's called justification of the surety. That means, among other things, Chris, that they want to know, how is this collateralized? What are the specific identifiable assets that Donald Trump posted to ensure that if they went on appeal, they will get back this $175 million and up to the value of the judgment that Judge Engoron had ordered, which at this point stands over $454 million if that judgements upheld.

The chairman and majority shareholder of Knight Specialty Insurance is Don Hankey, is a billionaire who has supported Trump's presidential campaigns in the past. Knight Specialty Insurance is known for providing subprime auto loans to buyers with poor credit, and Hankey has a reputation as the "king of subprime car loans." Hankey's other company, Axos Bank, has also been involved in refinancing loans for Trump's properties, including Trump Tower and his Doral golf resort, worth a total of $225 million in 2022.