Political organization

Judge dismisses lawsuit to stop AG investigation into Trump Organization

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed Friday by former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization to halt New York Attorney General Letitia James’ ongoing investigation into the company.

Judge Brenda Sannes, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, issued a motion dismissing the lawsuit and dismissing the defendant’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

“The Clerk of the Court is respectfully requested to close this matter,” Sannes wrote from Syracuse.

Trump filed a lawsuit accusing the attorney general of violating his and his LLC’s constitutional rights and abusing the process of his investigation. James, a Democrat, opened the Attorney General’s Office’s formal investigation into the activities of the Trump Organization and foreign banking practices on March 11, 2019.

Plaintiffs primarily criticize James for the narrow scope of his investigation and that they “did not have a full and fair opportunity to plead [their] constitutional claims” in state court.

“While the plaintiffs point out that Mr. Trump was president when the defendant’s investigation and the New York proceeding were initiated, Mr. Trump has been absent for over a year,” according to Sannes, adding the argument of his attorney that complying with a state subpoena “would prevent [the President’s] constitutional duties”, are not valid.

Trump’s legal adviser argued that the nature of James’ investigation was inappropriate and politically motivated, citing his campaigns for attorney general in 2018 and a brief run for governor of New York last fall. James posted on social media in 2018 in support of public protests against Trump and related executive decisions during his administration.

“Time and time again, the courts have made it clear that Donald J. Trump’s baseless legal challenges cannot stop our legal investigation into his and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” James said in a statement Friday. “No one in this country can choose how the law applies to them, and Donald Trump is no exception. As we have always said, we will pursue this investigation undeterred.

James subpoenaed Trump and his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, for documents and testimony on December 1. The president has appealed to the state’s appellate division, which remains pending.

Trump sued Attorney General James in federal court in December seeking to stop his office’s investigation and interfere with related state legal process. James filed a motion to dismiss federal prosecution in January, arguing that the lawsuit “was a baseless attempt to forum shop and should be dismissed on both procedural and substantive grounds,” according to the attorney general’s office.