Donald Trump has exactly one week to come up with more than a half billion dollars in liquid assets or New York State “could seek to freeze some of his bank accounts and seize some of his marquee properties.” I don’t know exactly how that process will begin, but we’re talking about 20 percent of Trump’s total worth, and, as Timothy Noah notes, much of the rest is already accounted for. There’s the $91 million bond he just secured from Chubb for his E  Jean Carroll defamation appeal.

There’s $392,000 that Trump paid The New York Times a couple of weeks ago for filing a frivolous lawsuit. There’s $938,000 that a judge last year ordered Trump and his attorney to pay Hillary Clinton for filing a frivolous lawsuit. There’s $382,000 that a London judge earlier this month ordered Trump to pay Orbis Business Intelligence, founded by Christopher Steele (of the “Steele dossier”), for filing a frivolous lawsuit. There’s the aforementioned $5 million that Trump paid earlier in the Carroll case. There’s $110,000 in contempt fees that Trump accrued for bad-mouthing New York Attorney General Letitia James during the civil fraud prosecution.

There’s whatever penalty the IRS may impose when it completes its audit of Trump’s 2015–2019 tax returns. There’s whatever lawsuits Trump’s current lawyers will file when he (or various Trump PACs, or the Republican Party) get tired of paying them. On top of all that, Deutsche Bank’s loans to Trump require him to maintain $50 million in “unencumbered liquidity” and a minimum net worth of $2.5 billion.

Noah’s account is incomplete,  which is why he speculates that Trump may soon be the first ex-president since Ulysses S. Grant to declare bankruptcy.  And bankruptcy isn’t going to save him.

New York Attorney General Letitia James already granted Trump a 30-day grace period to secure a bond. She did not need to do that. But the time is almost up and Trump’s lawyers admitted in court on Monday that getting the money is a “practical impossibility” for him. This is for three reasons. First, it’s a shit-ton of money that he needs. Second, the companies that write these kinds of bonds do not accept real estate as collateral. Third, Trump is well known for not honoring his debts. In simple terms, Trump is not good for the money.

Anyone who swoops in now to save Trump by handing him a half billion dollars is going to do it expecting to be recompensed in some other way than repayment of the loan. What would Russia want? What would Saudi Arabia want? What other country might see an angle in this?

Maybe it can be laundered through Jared Kushner who already accepted a multibillion dollar gift from the Saudis. But what if Trump doesn’t win election and goes to prison instead? I guess sovereign nations can just write it off as a loss. Are there independent billionaires willing to take the same risk?

Trump is being taken down to the studs and yet still looks like at least even money to win the election in November. It’s a crazy situation. See you next Monday to see whether he’s able to wriggle out of the trap one more time.

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