New York Attorney General and governor candidate Letitia James and former President Donald Trump.
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images; Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
- New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to toss Donald Trump’s lawsuit against her.
- Trump wants to end her long-running investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances.
- James said in the filing that Trump is just trying to wriggle out of giving a deposition.
New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a federal judge to dismiss former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit seeking to halt her investigation into his company’s finances, claiming he filed the lawsuit only so that he could wriggle his way out of taking a deposition.
Earlier this month, James’s office published a separate slate of filings that revealed the scope of their investigation, which began in March 2019. Lawyers in her office are examining whether the Trump Organization broke laws by manipulating property values in order to obtain favorable tax, loan, and insurance rates. They’re also working with prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for a criminal investigation into the same issues.
In December, Trump filed his lawsuit against James in a federal court in Albany seeking to stop James’s investigation, claiming it was never lawful in the first place. In Wednesday’s new filing, lawyers for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said Trump just wasn’t happy with the subpoena they served him with that month.
“At no point, despite having ample opportunity to do so in the NY Proceeding, did the Trump Organization or Mr. Trump ever challenge the underlying legal basis for the Investigation or OAG’s statutory authority to conduct the Investigation,” lawyers in James’s office wrote in a court filing Wednesday. “Until now – only after Mr. Trump was served with a subpoena.”
Trump has had to deal with a number of mounting legal challenges since he left the presidency in January 2021. He has already been forced to sit for a video deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by a group of protesters against the Trump Organization, who alleged the company’s security guards roughed them up during a demonstration outside Trump Tower. Another civil lawsuit where a judge ordered his deposition, brought by Summer Zervos, a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, was dropped before the deadline for Trump sitting for the deposition.
James’s lawyers pointed out in Wednesday’s filing that the Trump Organization had previously cooperated with their investigation, although court papers filed last week indicate they produced only three documents from Trump himself.
“Prior to filing this action, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization cooperated with the Investigation on various matters as it proceeded, producing many current and former Trump Organization employees and agents for examination under oath, and eventually producing over 900,000 documents, including while under judicial supervision,” her office’s lawyers wrote. “Indeed, the Trump Organization professed in state court that it had ‘fully cooperated’ with OAG’s investigation through the production of documents and testimony, as well as ‘numerous meet-and-confer sessions.'”
The new filing also fights back against the assertion that James somehow violated Trump’s First Amendment right to free speech with her investigation, or that it constitutes “harassment.”
“Even liberally construed, the complaint does not identify which of Mr. Trump’s viewpoints have been targeted or are in danger of being suppressed, or for what particular protected speech the Investigation supposedly retaliates against him,” James’s lawyers wrote.