Former President Donald Trump along with his children won’t be able to evade the $250 million fraud lawsuit that was filed against them by New York Attorney General Letitia James. New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron quickly denied Trump’s motion to dismiss James’ lawsuit, which targets Trump and his children, Eric Trump, Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump. The lawsuit alleges that the family committed extensive tax fraud from 2011 to 2021 and seeks to bar all from serving as an officer or director in any New York Corporation.
“The first three arguments were borderline frivolous even the first time defendants made them,” Engoron wrote. He went on to say that the repetition of arguments towards the Trumps added nothing new to the motion to dismiss. The judge implied that the defendants may have been “unnecessarily wordy” with their filings, noting that while the family’s legal team cited around 21 cases to make the point, “as a simple rule of thumb, three is enough for most purposes.”
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“Notwithstanding the above, in its discretion this Court will not impose sanctions, which the Court believes are unnecessary, having made its point,” Engoron wrote in the order.
The judge also separately addressed a distinct motion by Ivanka Trump herself in order to dismiss a complaint against her specifically. In addition to the dismissal argument, she had argued that the statute of limitations against her has run since she had decided to leave the Trump organization back in 2017.
Engoron noted that the Covid-19 pandemic era court rules had paused the time on the statute of limitations. He also implied that Ivanka’s statements that she “does not understand statements of financial condition,” despite communicating with a bank about such statements, may not hold if the case just goes to a jury trial.
“It is well-settled that triers of fact determine the credibility of witnesses,” Engoron warned before saying “such a credibility determination is premature.” Engoron’s ruling comes after the former president tried to sideline James’ lawsuit with a lawsuit of his own back in Florida. The federal judge who is overseeing that case, Donald M. Middlebrooks, refused to do so.
You can read the ruling here.