The New York attorney general’s case accusing Donald Trump and his company of fraud has been handed over to a state court judge, who has repeatedly ruled against the former president in disputes involving subpoenas. subpoenas – including contempt for him, fines him $110,000 and forced him to sit on the bench for deposition.
Trump’s attorneys are protesting Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s continued involvement and are accusing Attorney General Letitia James’ office of attempting to “arbit the store” because, in the paperwork, seek the appointment of a judge, it noted Engoron knew about the case and linked the case and the subpoena dispute. as “related” issues.
In a letter Thursday to the court’s administrative judge, Trump’s attorney Alina Habba argued that the case should instead be handed over to the court’s Commercial Division, which was set up to handle complex corporate lawsuits.
James’s office, which filed the lawsuit last week, is trying to bring the case to trial by the end of next year – before the first primaries in the 2024 presidential election. In a response, they say the case should remain with Engoron in part because of the “level of familiarity” he has developed in handling discovery and subpoena issues in the background investigation.
“Given the fact that this action involves allegations of an ongoing conspiracy and conspiracy to obtain millions of dollars through fraudulent activity, and the defendants have repeatedly sought to delay conclusions ( James’ investigation), so this case must proceed quickly,” Wallace wrote.
A court spokesman said Engoron had no comment.
James’ lawsuit alleges Trump and the Trump Organization inflated his net worth by billions of dollars and misled banks and others for years about the value of prized properties. such as his golf course, hotel and Mar-a-Lago estate. She is seeking $250 million and a permanent ban on Trump from doing business in the state.
Trump’s three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives. An attorney for Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump sent a letter Thursday to the administrative judge, echoing Habba’s call to refer the case to the court’s Commercial Division.
Engoron, a Democrat, has been involved in Trump-related cases since 2020, when he was tasked with intervening in spats between Trump’s lawyers and James’s office over a patent claim. evidence and direction of her investigation.
Trump, a Republican who is laying the groundwork for a potential return campaign to the presidency, claimed bias after several Engoron rulings went against him, saying in a statement: I can’t get a fair hearing in New York because of the hate against me by the Judge and the judiciary. That’s impossible.”
In February, Engoron enforced subpoenas against Trump and his two children, Ivanka and Donald Jr., to give impeachment testimony under oath. They testified in August after a state appeals court rejected an attempt to overturn the ruling. Trump has called for his Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination more than 400 times.
In April, Engoron scorned the former president in court and fined him for being slow to respond to subpoenas requiring him to file certain documents. Engoron lifted the contempt finding in June after Trump paid a $110,000 fine and complied with other demands.
Engoron also issued rulings ordering the Trump Organization and its appraiser, Cushman & Wakefield, to deliver evidence, and asked another son, Eric Trump, to testify at the trial.
Trump has criticized James’ lawsuit as “Another witch hunt” and noted that his company’s financial disclosure warns banks not to trust the information provided.
Habba said the allegations in the lawsuit are “futile.”