Court Battles

Judge throws out Trump’s suit to block NY AG probe

A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by former President Trump seeking to block the New York attorney general from investigating his business practices.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes, who sits on the federal district court for upstate New York, comes just a day after a state appeals court ruled that Trump and his two eldest children must comply with the attorney general’s subpoena for their testimony.

Sannes granted New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) motion to dismiss the case, rejecting Trump’s arguments that the investigation is being conducted in bad faith and motivated by politics.

“While the New York proceeding has been ongoing since August 2020, Plaintiffs have submitted no evidence that the subpoena enforcement proceeding has been conducted in such a way as to constitute harassment,” Sannes, an Obama appointee, wrote in a 43-page decision.

Trump attorney Alina Habba quickly vowed to appeal the decision on Friday.

“There is no question that we will be appealing this decision. If Ms. James’s egregious conduct and harassing investigation does not meet the bad faith exception to the Younger abstention doctrine, then I cannot imagine a scenario that would,” Habba said in an emailed statement, referring to the legal standard governing when federal courts should abstain from interfering in state court proceedings.

The former president sued James in federal court in December, alleging that her public criticisms of Trump demonstrated a political bias pervading her civil investigation into his company.

The lawsuit came as the two parties were fighting over the attorney general’s subpoenas in state court and shortly after James signaled that she intended to subpoena Trump for testimony in the probe.

James applauded the decision on Friday.

“Time and time again, the courts have made clear that Donald J. Trump’s baseless legal challenges cannot stop our lawful investigation into his and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” the attorney general said in a statement. “No one in this country can pick and choose how the law applies to them, and Donald Trump is no exception. As we have said all along, we will continue this investigation undeterred.”

Trump has been dealt a series of blows to his legal efforts to impede the investigation but has shown little sign of conceding defeat.

The state court proceedings can also be appealed. Alan Futerfas, a lawyer representing the Trumps in the state court appeal, said that they are considering Thursday’s decision regarding the subpoena.

Updated at 1:12 p.m.

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