Judge in AG James' civil suit against Trump hears arguments ahead of trial

 September 23, 2023

Former President Donald Trump faces multiple indictments, including two state and two federal. He's also facing a civil lawsuit in the state of New York. 

According to NBC News, the civil suit, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), alleges that Trump and his company inflated their assets in order to obtain more favorable loan terms.

A judge this week heard arguments from both the AG's office and Trump's lawyers in the case.

"New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron began the pretrial hearing by outlining that he will be reviewing motions for summary judgment from both sides," the outlet wrote.

What's going on?

Trump and his legal team have fought to have the charges in the suit dismissed completely. Trump has long claimed that James is only pursuing the matter for her own political gain.

The former president's lawyers have argued that James has "failed to demonstrate any even theoretical harm to anyone, public or private" in pursuing the civil suit.

They also claimed she has "no valid authority" to sue the president and his organization.

In contrast, James wants Trump, his two sons, and the Trump Organization found liable for what she perceives as "fraud" even before the Oct. 2 trial begins.

"The undisputed evidence establishes that Defendants employed a variety of deceptive schemes to grossly inflated values for many of Mr. Trump’s assets," she wrote in a recent filing.

NBC noted:

James' office previously said there's an "overwhelming amount of evidence establishing beyond dispute" that Trump and his older sons engaged in "repeated and persistent fraudulent use of the false and misleading [Statements of Financial Condition] in connection with business transactions with banks and insurers." Therefore, the state asks that the court find Trump liable for fraud.

Though it was a "joke"

Judge Arthur Engoron, who's overseeing the case, slammed Trump's lawyers for making "frivolous" arguments.

"When I first heard those arguments, I thought that was a joke," the judge said.

NBC added:

"The fact that no one was hurt does not mean the case gets dismissed," Engoron said, adding that he believes that "fairness in the marketplace" was a victim of the defendants' actions.

James is seeking sanctions against Trump and his sons, and wants a $250 million fine levied against the organization. Only time will tell if Trump's lawyers can have it quashed, but given the low chance of getting a fair deal in New York, it doesn't seem likely.

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