- A Manhattan judge on Friday denied Trump’s latest attempt to dodge New York’s fraud allegations.
- The judge criticized Trump’s “frivolous” arguments and convicted Ivanka Trump for making a statement alleging ignorance.
- Letitia James’ $250 million fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company remains on track for a trial on October 2, 2023.
A Manhattan judge delivered his final blow to Donald Trump on Friday, denying what he called the former president’s “borderline reckless” request to dismiss New York’s $250 million fraud lawsuit aimed at expanding his business empire to be taken out of the state.
In a nine-page decision, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron kept Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit on track for a trial in early October.
He stopped sanctioning Trump’s lawyers, as he threatened earlier in the week, for repeatedly filing rejected legal arguments — including alleging that James’ three-year investigation into his business and the resulting lawsuit was a “witch hunt.” ”
Back in 2018, during her campaign for attorney general, James, a Democrat, had made it clear she disagreed with the then-president’s policies and promised to investigate and prosecute allegations of fraud against his Manhattan-based golf resort and real estate company The Trump -Organization.
Trump’s latest “witch hunt” argument, made as part of a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, is invalid, Engoron wrote Friday, because it has already failed in his court, a state appeals court and a federal judge over the past year, according to the former President has repeatedly raised it to fight investigative subpoenas from the Attorney General.
In denying the motion to dismiss, Engoron dismissed Trump’s also repeatedly denied claims that James does not have the legal standing or ability to sue him and that the attorney general’s allegations are too old to pursue.
“Reading those arguments was, to quote baseball sage Lawrence Peter (“Yogi”) Berra, deja vu all over again,” the judge wrote.
The judge also dismissed as “completely unconvincing” Trump’s argument that disclaimers attached to the allegedly fraudulent financial reports sent to potential lenders – essentially warning them not to rely on his math – the former president of the fraud to acquit.
Finally, the judge shot Ivanka Trump, who has served as vice president of the Trump Organization and is named by James as a defendant, as well as her brothers Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., both current vice presidents at their father’s company.
When Engoron denied Ivanka Trump’s separately filed motion to dismiss the lawsuit, she implied that she was far from truthful in court-mandated testimony to James’ attorneys last year.
Ivanka Trump had claimed she should be removed from the lawsuit because she stopped working for her father’s company in 2017 and was not accused of personally falsifying any of the company’s business records or knowing about the forgery.
The attorney general’s evidence links Ivanka Trump to years of interactions with her father’s longtime favorite lender, Deutsche Bank, Engoron countered in his decision. These interactions include overseeing the financing and subsequent loan compliance for the Trump National Doral Golf Course in Miami and the Old Post Office in Washington, DC.
“The records show that Ms. Trump was far more involved in securing the loans than just passively receiving emails,” Engoron wrote.
“In her testimony, Ms. Trump testified that she does not understand financial statements and does not even know if they would include all assets and liabilities,” the judge wrote.
“This is despite their communication with Deutsche Bank about SFCs,” he wrote.
Ivanka Trump further claimed she cannot be held legally liable in the attorney general’s lawsuit, but that is not the case either, Engoron wrote.
“Records show that Mrs. Trump realized over $10 million in profits from the sale of the Old Post Office,” the judge wrote.
If the bid request for the Old Post Office was based on fraudulent statements about Trump’s worth, as the attorney general alleges, then the lawsuit could result in forfeiting some of those profits, he wrote.
“Once again, Donald Trump’s attempts to evade the law have been rebuffed,” James said in a statement.
“We sued Mr. Trump because we found that he had engaged in extensive financial fraud for years to enrich himself and to defraud the system. Today’s decision makes it clear that Donald Trump is not above the law and must answer for his actions in court.”
“We look forward to receiving a full and proper review of our appeal arguments,” said Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba. Another Trump family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.