Trump Foundation argues NY state lawsuit is politically biased

Lawyers for the Trump Foundation argued in a new court filing that the New York attorney general's lawsuit against the organization should not move forward, citing political bias.

The filing argues that comments made by Attorney General Letitia James (D) before she took office represent "grave antipathy and animus" toward President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORECNN reported on Monday.

"Newly elected New York Attorney General Letitia James ran on an anti-Trump campaign where she expressed grave antipathy and animus toward Mr. Trump," the attorneys wrote.

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James called Trump an "illegitimate president" last year and pledged upon her election to investigate the president's real estate empire. She was sworn-in as attorney general last month.

A judge in November rejected the Trump Foundation's request to dismiss the lawsuit, but Friday's filing cited James's comments as "additional facts" in the case.

"Once again, the Trump Foundation is making a sad attempt to distract from the real merits of this case, which are based on facts and the law," said Delaney Kempner, a spokesperson for the attorney general. "They have previously failed in their argument that this is politically motivated and we are confident that justice will prevail."

Then-acting New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D) filed the lawsuit in June, alleging the Trump Foundation violated state and federal laws and engaged in persistent self-dealing by using the charity's funds for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and his businesses.

Underwood announced late last year that the foundation had agreed to shut down but that she would still pursue the lawsuit, which seeks $2.8 million in restitution plus penalties, as well as an order barring Trump and his three oldest children — Donald Trump Jr.Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump — from serving on the boards of other New York charities.

Trump has decried the lawsuit as a partisan attack, criticizing former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and James in the process.