More bad news for Donald Trump and his family, as a New York state judge has denied requests by the former president, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and his daughter Ivanka Trump to dismiss New York’s attorney general’s $250 million fraud lawsuit. Letitia James back in September last year. If you recall, James sued Trump, his three eldest sons, the Trump Organization and its senior management, accusing it of widespread tax fraud between 2011 and 2021 by knowingly lying to lenders and insurers and inflating assets.
“The financial condition statements were grossly exaggerated, grossly inflated, and objectively false, and therefore fraudulent and illegal,” James said at the time after the lawsuit was filed. “Claiming money you don’t have does not amount to the ‘art of the deal.’ It is the art of stealing.” If James’ lawsuit succeeds, Trump will be banned from engaging in real estate transactions in New York for five years, in addition to being permanently banned from serving as an officer or director of a company in New York.
State District Court Arthur Engoron denied Trump’s request to dismiss a civil fraud lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday. https://t.co/aMJ04hBcoq
– Business Standard (bsindia) January 7, 2023
The judge rejects Trump’s request to dismiss the lawsuit
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron deemed “absurd” some of the arguments made by the family’s attorneys for dismissing the lawsuit, having previously dismissed some of their own legal arguments after he appointed an independent observer to oversee the Trump Organization’s business dealings.
In a written order dated January 6, Engoron said, “The first three arguments were absurd even first-time defendants brought them. Reading these arguments was, in the words of baseball sage Lawrence Peter (“Yogi”) Berra, “déjà vu all over again.”
Read more: US courts have just ruled against the Donald Trump Organization. In the event of tax fraud
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Angoron also added that he could rightfully have imposed sanctions for “frivolous litigation” against Trump’s “seasoned” defense attorneys who “should have known better” but decided against it. He added, “This court, at its discretion, will not impose penalties that the court deems unnecessary after it has made its point clear.” In addition, Engoron also rejected claims by the Trump family that some of the alleged fraudulent behavior actually occurred outside the statute of limitations allowed by law.
Ivanka argued that the accusations against her should be dismissed, since she left the Trump Organization in 2017 to work full-time as a senior counsel in the White House, so the allegations have a statute of limitations. She also added that she had not personally falsified any business records, but that Engurun refused to do so, saying she could still be liable for being part of the “ongoing bugs”.
New York Attorney General Letitia James responds to the news
Naturally, James was pleased with Engoron’s decision, and offered her thoughts via a short statement she obtained Washington Post. “Once again, Donald Trump’s attempts to circumvent the law have been rejected,” James said in the statement.
Once again, Donald Trump’s attempts to evade the law have been denied, https://t.co/VxwWkfXHPN
– Ron Mukerji (Englodysiac) January 7, 2023
“We sued Mr. Trump because we found he engaged in years of massive financial fraud to enrich himself and outwit the system,” she added. “Today’s decision demonstrates that Donald Trump is not above the law and must be held accountable for his actions in court.”
Trump’s attorney, Alina Heba, reportedly said in a statement that Engurun’s decision will be appealed, which doesn’t really surprise us. The case is currently scheduled to be heard in October later this year; And if it goes ahead as planned, it will be in the middle of Trump’s last run for the presidency in the 2024 election, so he’s likely to be a little busy and not thrilled with the timing.