Responding to yet another Trump lawsuit, New York AG Letitia James says he’s still committing fraud

Donald Trump / Letitia James

Donald Trump / Letitia JamesGetty Images

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James responded to Donald Trump’s new lawsuit filed against her.

  • She alleges Trump is still committing fraud and is “seeking to put assets beyond this Court’s reach.”

  • Trump accused the attorney general of abusing her power by investigating him and his family.

Hours after former President Donald Trump announced he is suing New York Attorney General Letitia James again, the AG hit back in a legal filing alleging Trump is still committing fraud.

James filed a letter to the court just before a hearing in her $250 million civil lawsuit seeking to permanently ban Trump and his three oldest children from conducting business in New York, which was filed on September 21.

Trump filed suit against James in Florida on Wednesday night, alleging that she is abusing her power by investigating him and his family.

James said in the letter to the court released Thursday morning that Trump is “attempting to shield the key documents governing the structure of his business” with the newest lawsuit, and added Trump “admits he is seeking to put assets beyond this Court’s reach.”

The letter also pushed back against Trump’s allegations that she hadn’t “properly served” those involved in the case.

The dispute spilled into a spirited public hearing in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday.

Kevin Wallace, a lead prosecutor in the James lawsuit against Trump, told a judge that the AG is still “seeking an injunction against ongoing fraudulent activities by the Trump Organization.”

Trump is still not complying with the court’s subpoena demands for documents, specifically related to his revocable trust, which is “now a Florida grantor trust,” as the attorney general’s office complained in court documents last week.

Trump’s lawsuit is the latest legal action he’s taken against James, who he has frequently railed against and accused of being corrupt without providing evidence to support the claim.

In court Thursday, Trump’s lawyer, Christopher Kise, told Court Justice Arthur Engoron of the Attorney General’s office that they see the initial suit filed by James as “a manufactured bill of grievances.” He also argued against the AG’s demand for an independent monitor to oversee Trump’s real estate and golf resort empire.

Kise said installing a monitor would be “an extraordinary intrusion to the level of nationalizing a private enterprise.”

In addition to asking for an independent court-appointed monitor to be installed, James is also asking the judge to order Trump not to sell or transfer interests in any of his assets in New York state without putting the AG on notice first.

James’s request is based on her belief that Trump may try to move assets to new entities.

Kise, in response, claimed that it is a “drastic remedy,” adding that “we’re not moving assets and we’re prepared to stipulate that.

Nothing can happen suddenly when you’re dealing with properties like 40 Wall Street and Trump Tower in Manhattan, he said, adding that these buildings “aren’t going anywhere.” It’s not like it’s “gold bars or Krugerrands — they’re not going to be moved overnight out of New York,” he said.

Kise continued to argue the no victim, no harm, no foul defense, alleging that Trump paid back all of the banks James is defending in her suit.

He told the judge that it is James’ duty to protect the public, but that nowhere in her lawsuit does it show that there’s been any defrauding of the public. The “alleged victims” are major lenders, Deutsche Bank in particular, he said.

It is not James’ job, Kise argued Thursday, “to represent corporate titans in private transactions.”

“There’s zero public interest here respectfully … These corporate entities have unlimited resources … They’ve never complained to the attorney general,” Kise said.

He continued, adding it’s actually dangerous for the attorney general to be “reaching into these private real estate transactions.”

He said that Trump Org will be raising the jurisdictional issue later in the company’s defense but that for now it demonstrates a weakness in the case and that discrepancies in valuations are common.

“I would be alarmed if I were in the real estate industry right now, he said, adding real estate transactions regularly involve “these kinds of disputes.”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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