NY AG asks federal judge to dismiss Trump’s lawsuit to block probe
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) asked a federal judge this week to throw out former President Trump’s legal effort to block her investigation into potential fraud in his company.
James’s office filed a motion to dismiss Trump’s lawsuit on Wednesday, arguing the former president has not sought to appeal any of the state court rulings ordering his family business to comply with the investigation.
“At no point, despite having ample opportunity to do so in the NY Proceeding, did the Trump Organization or Mr. Trump ever challenge the underlying legal basis for the Investigation or OAG’s statutory authority to conduct the Investigation,” the attorney general’s office said in its legal brief. “Until now — only after Mr. Trump was served with a subpoena.”
Earlier this month, James asked a New York state judge to force Trump and two of his children to comply with a subpoena for his testimony as part of the investigation. In its court papers, the attorney general’s office revealed a surprising amount of details about the focus of the investigation, showing evidence that the Trump Organization gave false valuations of its properties to investors, creditors and tax authorities.
“Thus far in our investigation, we have uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit,” the attorney general’s office wrote.
Trump filed his federal suit in December, seeking an injunction that would force James to halt her investigation. His attorneys argued that James is acting out of political animus towards Trump and that her bias is depriving the former president of his constitutional rights.
“The investigations commenced by James are in no way connected to legitimate law enforcement goals, but rather, are merely a thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates,” Trump’s lawsuit reads. “Her mission is guided solely by political animus and a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen who she views as a political opponent.”
James’s office argued on Wednesday that the federal suit should be dismissed out of deference to the ongoing state court proceedings over whether Trump and his associates must comply with the investigation. They also said that Trump has failed to provide evidence supporting his claims that the investigation is illegitimate.
“Their allegations, consisting of snippets of press releases, tweets, and public appearances — some of which pre-date the Attorney General’s time in office at OAG — are legally insufficient; they do not support a plausible inference that the Investigation lacks any objective, reasonable basis,” the court filing reads.
A hearing in the federal case is scheduled for March 21.