Federal judge dismisses Trump’s lawsuit against N.Y. attorney general

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NEW YORK – Former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against the New York Attorney General – who claimed his long-term civil investigation into his business practices was an abuse of power that needed to be stopped – has been dismissed by a federal judge in Syracuse, NY

The former president’s attempt to shut down Attorney General Letitia James (D)’s investigation into the Trump Organization and its dealings with lenders and tax authorities was dismissed in a 43-page ruling released Friday by the U.S. District Judge Brenda K. Sannes.

In a statement, James said his office would “pursue this investigation undeterred,” suggesting Trump has made efforts to “choose how the law” applies to him.

Trump sues New York attorney general in attempt to suspend investigation into his company

“Time and time again, the courts have made it clear that Donald J. Trump’s baseless legal challenges cannot stop our legal investigation into his and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” James said in a statement.

Trump lawyer Alina Habba said the decision will be appealed and the judge was wrong to refuse to override a federal legal norm known as “youth abstention” that defaults a case to state court if a proceeding is pending there. Habba argued in court papers that James’ efforts were so unfair that the federal judge should have stepped in to stop them.

“There is no doubt that we will appeal this decision,” Habba said in a statement. “If Ms. James’ egregious conduct and harassment investigation does not meet the bad faith exception to the youth abstention doctrine, then I cannot imagine a scenario that would.”

A state court judge, Arthur Engoron, who oversaw a number of disputes between James’s team and Trump, has previously refused to halt the investigation. Engoron granted James’ past requests to enforce subpoenas that Trump and other parties initially did not comply with.

Trump sues New York attorney general in attempt to suspend investigation into his company

Engoron recently scorned Trump for not handing over the files he was ordered to hand over to James in February. The contempt order was lifted after he met a set of conditions related to documenting a search of the records, which he says do not exist, although the attorney general is still looking for additional documents on the side of Trump.

Trump’s lawyers have previously said in court papers that James’ campaign statements in which she promised to take on Trump and his company if elected disqualified her from overseeing an impartial investigation and that her investigation was politically motivated.

Trump claimed the investigation was a violation of his constitutional rights.

“Her mission is driven solely by political animosity and a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen whom she views as a political opponent,” Trump’s attorneys argued in her civil complaint. .

Sannes noted in the decision that Trump could have asserted his rights against James years ago in federal court when he sued the Manhattan District Attorney for subpoenas for his tax returns and related documents. . After reaching the Supreme Court, a Trump accounting firm provided the documents to criminal investigators.

The district attorney is overseeing a parallel criminal investigation into whether Trump illegally submitted false appraisals on properties to try to get better loan rates and reduce his tax liability. James’ office has partnered with the District Attorney’s team and is providing additional resources.

Although Trump has not been charged, District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) said the investigation is continuing, even after two senior prosecutors leading the investigation dropped the case in protest earlier this year. Longtime Trump chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were indicted last year by Bragg’s predecessor for an alleged 15-year tax evasion scheme.

Trump maintains his innocence in both investigations. Weisselberg and company have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial in New York Supreme Court.

Friday’s ruling dismissing the lawsuit also says halting James’ case would be an improper breach of the chosen one’s authority. James, the state’s top attorney, has previously called the lawsuit one of the former president’s many delaying tactics.

The dismissal comes a day after a Manhattan Court of Appeals panel ordered the former president and two of his adult children – Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. – to sit for depositions in the investigation of James.

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