But a ruling Tuesday by a New York state judge that Trump had committed fraud by inflating the value of his real estate holdings went to the heart of the identity that made him a national figure and launched his political career. Trump’s lawyer in the case, Christopher Kise, called the ruling “outrageous” and said the decision would be appealed. When cornered, Trump has traditionally sought to bluster his way out of trouble, falling back on exaggerations or outright lies to escape. Trump is being constrained by the very system he often uses to try to stymie opposition: the courts. In the last two years, Trump has filed a blizzard of legal actions against news networks, political critics and even the Pulitzer Prize committee.