A federal judge dismisses ex-President Donald Trump’s lawsuit to block a New York civil investigation into the Trump Organization (Picture: AP)
A federal judge has dismissed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit that was aimed at blocking a New York civil investigation into his business practices.
US District Judge Brenda Sannes’ ruling on Friday means that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ three-year probe can continue.
In her 43-page ruling, Sannes said she came to her decision based on case law that in most circumstances bars federal judges from interfering with probes at the state level.
Trump sued James in December after she issued a subpoena for him to testify. The ex-president’s attorneys claimed that James’ investigation was politically motivated because she is ‘an outspoken political activist and member of the Democratic Party’. They alleged that the probe violated his constitutional rights in a ‘thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates’.
James on Friday tweeted that the judge’s decision was ‘a big victory’.
‘A federal court has dismissed Donald Trump’s baseless lawsuit to stop my office’s investigation into his and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,’ she wrote.
‘Frivolous lawsuits won’t stop us from completing our lawful, legitimate investigation.’
But Trump’s attorney Alina Habba questioned Sannes’ reasoning, pointing to the legal precedent at issue.
‘There is no question that we will be appealing this decision,’ said Habba. ‘If Ms James’s egregious conduct and harassing investigation does not meet the bad faith exception to the Younger abstention doctrine, then I cannot imagine a scenario that would.’
They plan to bring the case to the 2nd US Court of Appeals.
Sannes’ decision comes one day after Trump lost an appeal and in turn must answer questions under oath in James’ probe. A New York appeals court on Thursday upheld a Manhattan judge’s ruling to enforce subpoenas for Trump and his two eldest children to give depositions in James’ investigation.
James’ office claims they have found evidence that the Trump Organization misstated its property valuations in order to obtain more favorable loans and tax breaks.
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