Judge refuses to allow Trump to dismiss $250 million lawsuit

 January 7, 2023

According to the Washington Examiner, a federal judge has refused to allow former President Donald Trump to dismiss the $250 million lawsuit that has been brought against him by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

ABC News reports:

The lawsuit, filed in September, alleges Trump and the Trump Organization misled banks and others about the value of prized assets, including golf courses and hotels bearing his name. James, a Democrat, is seeking $250 million and a permanent ban on Trump, a Republican, doing business in the state.

Trump has long argued that James' actions here are politically motivated.

Accordingly, Trump recently moved to get the lawsuit dismissed. But, that move was denied on Friday by New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron.

"Should have known better"

In his nine-page ruling, Engoron not only denied Trump's motion to dismiss - rejecting numerous attacks made by Trump and his legal team - but he also chastised Trump's legal team regarding its arguments.

"Reading these arguments was, to quote the baseball sage Lawrence Peter ('Yogi') Berra, 'Déjà vu all over again," Engoron wrote.

Engoron, in particular, has taken issue with such things as Trump's calling James's investigation a "witch hunt." Engoron also took issue with Trump's legal team filing legal arguments that had already been raised and rejected - including the "witch hunt" argument, namely, that James's lawsuit is politically motivated.

Engoron, in fact, had previously threatened to sanction Trump's lawyers should they keep making such arguments. But, in his ruling, Engoron stopped short of doing so, writing, "Sophisticated defense counsel should have known better. In its discretion this Court will not impose sanctions, which the Court believes are unnecessary, having made its point."

In other words, for now, it appears that Engoron is happy with chastizing rather than sanctioning Trump's legal team. We'll have to see if he continues to exercise such "discretion."

An appeal is expected

James responded by celebrating the ruling.

“Once again, Donald Trump’s attempts to evade the law have been rejected,” she said in a statement.

“We sued Mr. Trump because we found that he engaged in years of extensive financial fraud to enrich himself and cheat the system," James added. "Today’s decision makes clear that Donald Trump is not above the law and must answer for his actions in court.”

It appears, though, that Trump will appeal.

His attorney, Alina Habba, said, "We look forward to receiving a full and proper review of our arguments on appeal."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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