Trump Lawyer Says New York Attorney General Has No Fraud Case – On Friday, a lawyer representing Donald Trump alleged that New York Attorney General Letitia James was overlooking “everything” while pursuing a civil lawsuit that claims the former president orchestrated a systematic fraud within his family business. Christopher Kise, Trump’s attorney, made this assertion during a hearing in a New York state court, just a mere 10 days before the scheduled trial on October 2nd.
Justice Arthur Engoron is currently reviewing arguments presented by Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and the Trump Organization, asserting that the case should be dismissed due to the absence of fraud, lack of harm to anyone, and the antiquity of the claims. In contrast, James is seeking a pre-trial ruling that holds the defendants accountable for fraud.
Engoron intends to make his ruling on both sides’ motions on September 26th, and he has hinted that there are broader legal principles at play in this case. “We’re talking about fairness and honesty in the marketplace,” he said at the hearing, which lasted nearly five hours. “The fact that nobody was hurt doesn’t mean the case gets dismissed.” Letitia James seeks a minimum of $250 million in fines and aims to prohibit Trump and his adult sons from managing businesses within New York.
Despite facing four criminal indictments in which he has entered a plea of not guilty, Trump currently maintains a substantial lead in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing, characterizing these cases as a Democratic-led “witch hunt” against him. James has leveled accusations against Trump, alleging that he provided false financial statements from 2011 to 2021 to secure more favorable loan and insurance terms, thereby deceiving banks and insurers.
In June, a state appeals court in Manhattan dismissed claims against Ivanka Trump and other claims dating back to before July 2014 or February 2016 due to statute of limitations constraints. The responsibility of determining which aspects of the case can proceed has been left to Judge Engoron. Additionally, Engoron will make a decision regarding Attorney General James’ request to penalize the defendants for repeatedly presenting “frivolous” arguments that he had previously rejected.
During the recent hearing, the judge expressed dissatisfaction when Christopher Kise suggested that banks may not have relied on Trump’s valuations when granting loans. Engoron emphatically stated, “You cannot make false statements and use them in business,” emphasizing his point. Recently, Trump initiated a lawsuit against Judge Engoron, alleging that he took too long to narrow down the case.
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This lawsuit aimed to postpone the trial until after Engoron decides which claims the attorney general can pursue, allowing the defendants adequate preparation time. Defense attorneys have also accused Letitia James of disregarding the June appeals court ruling. The appeals court is expected to make a determination next week on whether the trial should proceed as originally scheduled.