Trump drops lawsuit against NY attorney general

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Former President Donald Trump dropped a lawsuit Friday against New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) who tried to protect his revocable trust from James, who is suing $250 million against Trump over a decade. of allegedly fraudulent business practices.

“Plaintiff, PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP, by and through his undersigned counsel and pursuant to the Fed. Civil R. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i) hereby voluntarily dismisses your claims in this action against Defendant, LETITIA JAMES, without prejudice,” said the one-page document filed with U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The move comes a day after news broke that U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks fined Trump and his attorney, Alina Habba, nearly $1 million in what was considered a frivolous lawsuit filed against his presidential rival in 2016. , Hillary Clinton, and others.

In his 46-page judgment, Middlebrooks cited the lawsuit against James as one that demonstrated “a pattern of abuse of the courts” by Trump.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that James’ $250 million lawsuit against Trump would go ahead, calling the Trump team’s arguments “frivolous.”

At issue is a lawsuit James filed in September against Trump; three of his adult children who were company executives; its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg; and the company after a multi-year investigation. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has set a trial date in October for the main civil case to be heard.

The suit, which could effectively harm the Trump Organization’s ability to do business in New York, accuses the family-owned real estate, golf resort and hospitality business of willfully misleading lenders, insurance brokers and tax agencies to obtain preferable loan rates and reduce your taxes. liability using false asset valuation values ​​from 2011 to 2021.

Trump’s lawsuit that was dropped in Florida accused James of “repeatedly abusing his position as attorney general of the state of New York to seek revenge against President Trump.”

Trump had made similar claims against James in state and federal courts in New York.

Last May, a federal judge in Syracuse, NY, dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against James – who claimed his long-running civil investigation into his business practices was an abuse of authority that needed to be stopped.

The former president’s attempt to halt James’ investigation into the Trump Organization and its dealings with creditors and tax authorities was rejected in a 43-page decision by US District Judge Brenda K. Sannes.

In a statement, James said his office would “continue this investigation unabated,” suggesting that Trump has made efforts to “choose how the law” applies to him.

Middlebrooks, in his judgment published on Thursday, wrote that Trump is a “prolific and sophisticated litigator who is repeatedly using the courts to exact revenge on political opponents.”

“He is the mastermind of the strategic abuse of the judicial process and cannot be seen as a litigator who blindly follows the advice of an attorney. He knew very well the impact of his actions,” said Middlebrooks. “As such, I think sanctions should be imposed on Mr. Trump and his top lawyer, Ms. Habba.”

Trump — who announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2024 — Habba and law firm Habba Madaio & Associates are jointly and severally liable for $937,989.39, the court found.

Representatives for Trump and Habba did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2022, with Trump alleging that Clinton and others had orchestrated “a malicious conspiracy” to spread false information that his campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race he won.

It was rejected in September by Middlebrooks, who said there were “substantive defects” in the case and complaints for which a court “was not the appropriate forum”.

Shayna Jacobs in New York contributed to this report.

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