New York Attorney General (AG) Letitia James is taking Donald Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric to trial. AG James verified on Thursday that in 2023 she will sue the Trump family on the charge of business fraud, according to a letter AG James submitted to the court.
The Attorney General’s office made clear that the AG wanted to fast-track the lawsuit. James chose to file a $250 million civil lawsuit against the Trump family and its business, the Trump Organization, rather than a criminal lawsuit.
One advantage of a civil suit is the bar for conviction is lower than in a criminal lawsuit. AG James’ office also submitted to the court that was the reason she should retain the case. One of the investigators Assistant Attorney General Kevin Wallace wrote, according to The Daily Beast:
‘OAG intends to seek an expedited preliminary conference to set a trial date before the end of 2023. Allowing for an expedited trial schedule on an enforcement proceeding after extensive litigation over subpoena enforcement is precisely the circumstance that warrants keeping this case before Justice Engoron in the interests of judicial economy.’
Trump and his three eldest children slow-walked the case for years. Sometimes they refused to release documents, and other times they skipped sworn testimony sessions. Justice Arthur Engoron ended up being responsible for making them do so.
After three years, James filed the lawsuit claiming “rampant business and tax fraud.” And now they Trumps have been trying to get Engoron removed from James’ lawsuit. They want a different New York state court from the commercial division.
The ex-president’s personal attorney Alina Habba, wrote to the court accusing the “Office of the Attorney General of taking steps to avoid having the case reassigned.” She wrote:
‘The OAG’s actions appear to be nothing less than a deliberate attempt to circumvent the rules of the Individual Assignment System and to “judge shop.”‘
The attorney for the previous president appears to be illogically trying to argue that their stalling tactics had nothing to do with the lawsuit that arose from the investigation. Habba also tried to convince the court that James’ filing of the lawsuit last week was “erroneously listing a prior proceeding as a ‘related’ action.”
Assistant AG Wallace contradicted Habba’s letter on Thursday:
‘There is no question that the two matters are related. Judicial economy is especially well served by leaving this case with Justice Engoron. For more than two years he has overseen the conduct of the investigation that led to this enforcement proceeding.’
James’ office argued that Judge Engoron should stay on due to his very “close familiarity with the mountain of evidence in this case.” When there was a court hearing last February, the judge said:
‘[There were] 600 and some odd documents in this case. I’m fairly familiar with all of them.’
The ex-president has suggested he will run in the 2024 presidential election and raised $100 million from “his various Political Action Committees to that end. He still calls himself “President’ and has endorsed a significant number of the GOP members campaigning for Congress.
So what would happen if Trump loses his business and borrowing capabilities in New York? Can he even afford the $250 million verdict AG Jones is seeking in the lawsuit?
Wallace also wrote in the letter about the need for speed, calling it “imperative:”
‘Given the fact that this action involves allegations of an ongoing scheme and conspiracy to obtain millions of dollars through fraudulent activity, and that defendants repeatedly have sought to delay the conclusion of OAG’s investigation, it is imperative that this case proceed quickly.’
AG James told The New York Magazine:
‘Donald Trump and three of his children are accused of committing “staggering” financial fraud. ‘
This trial should be very interesting.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Christie writes Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters and a Three White Lions podcast available on Apple, Spotify, etc. She is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, etc.