The presiding judge found the Trump team’s arguments so repetitive that he considered sanctioning the former president’s lawyers.
A New York state judge has denied former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss a multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Letitia James.
According to CNN, Judge Arthur Engoron had earlier rejected the Trump team’s legal arguments, calling several “frivolous.”
Engoron recently imposed a monitor on the Trump Organization, which is under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
On Friday, Engoron ruled that Trump’s legal arguments for dismissal were repetitive and “frivolous,” and therefore did not merit further consideration.
“Reading these arguments was, to quote the baseball sage Lawrence Peter (‘Yogi’) Berra, ‘Déjà vu all over again,’” Engoron wrote.
Engoron, notes CNN, considered sanctioning Trump’s attorneys but decided against it.
“Sophisticated defense counsel should have known better,” Engoron wrote. “In its discretion this Court will not impose sanctions, which the Court believes are unnecessary, having made its point.”
The Trump team had broadly argued that New York Attorney General Letitia James had “singled out” the former president and “[subjected him] to selective treatment.”
New York Attorney General and former city council member Letitia James. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Matthew Cohen. (CCA-BY-2.0).As LegalReader.com has reported before, Trump has insisted that James’s investigations into the Trump Organization are a politically-motivated “witch hunt.”
In his ruling, Engoron appeared somewhat frustrated by the former president’s insistence that James’s lawsuit should be dismissed simply because it could have political undertones.
Trump’s attorneys defended their reasoning in a letter issued the court, in which they said they had an ethical obligation to revisit the arguments.
“The defendants and counsel intend no disrespect to this court, and do not in any way seek to prolong or delay these proceedings,” the attorneys’ letter said. “Under such circumstances, sanctions are not warranted for advocating positions which respectfully disagree with the views of both plaintiff and this court.”
In her lawsuit, Attorney General James claims that the Trump Organization—along with stakeholders including Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr.—intentionally misrepresented and over-valued the company’s assets to secure favorable terms from lenders and insurers.
The Trump Organization, for example, allegedly exaggerated the value of many of its assets, making the company appear far more profitable than it really was.
“The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering, affecting most if not all of the real estate holdings in any given year,” the suit says.
James has since praised the court’s ruling, reiterating the attorney general’s belief that nobody—including the former president—is above the law.
“Once again,” Ms. James said in a statement, “Donald Trump’s attempts to evade the law have been rejected.”
“[The latest ruling] makes clear that Donald Trump is not above the law and must answer for his actions in court.”
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