Trump voluntarily dismisses second lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James

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Donald Trump on Tuesday dropped a second lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James over her investigation into the former president and his family’s business dealings.

Trump’s lawyers and James’ office on Tuesday agreed on a provision ending an appeal that had sought to overturn a judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said the appeal in Manhattan federal court was “voluntarily withdrawn for strategic reasons,” according to The The US Express News.

“I am pleased that Donald Trump has withdrawn both of his pending actions against my office,” James said in a statement Tuesday. “As we’ve shown all along, we have a legitimate lawsuit against him and his organization, and we can’t be bullied or discouraged from pursuing it.”

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New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference on Sept. 21, 2022 in New York.
(TUSEN Photo/Brittainy Newman, file)

Trump, a Republican, sued James, a Democrat, in December 2021 in an attempt to stop her from investigating him and his companies.

Trump sued James again in the wake of her September lawsuit alleging that he and his company, the Trump Organization, had misled banks and others about the value of his assets, including golf courses and hotels bearing his name, in a practice which she called ‘The art’. of the steal” – a twist on the title of his book “The Art of the Deal.”

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Trump voluntarily dismissed that lawsuit last week after a Florida federal judge, Donald M. Middlebrooks, charged him with a “pattern of abuse of the courts” for filing frivolous lawsuits for political purposes, including what he says is a fake lawsuit was against Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and others.

Middlebrooks fined Trump and Habba nearly $1 million in that case. In a 46-page verdict released Thursday, Middlebrooks wrote that Trump is a “prolific and sophisticated litigator who repeatedly uses the courts to exact revenge on political opponents,” according to The Washington Post.

“He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew very well the impact of his actions,” the verdict said, according to the Post . “As such, I think sanctions should be imposed on Mr. Trump and his lead attorney, Ms. Habba.”

In the Florida lawsuit that has since been withdrawn, and as also stated in his New York case, Trump’s lawyers argued that James had “repeatedly abused her position as New York State Attorney General to pursue a vendetta against to emulate President Trump”.

The case of James against Trump is pending. She wants a judge to fine Trump $250 million and permanently ban him from doing business in the Empire State. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron had scheduled the trial to begin in October, the Post reported.

U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes dismissed Trump’s original lawsuit against the New York Attorney General in May 2022, allowing her civil investigation to continue. Sannes wrote at the time that case law prohibits federal judges from interfering with state-level investigations and that there was no evidence to support his claim that James attacked him out of political animosity.

Trump’s since-withdrawn second lawsuit, filed in November, was designed to prevent James from exercising any oversight over the family trust that controls his company. Trump initially filed that case in Florida state court, but it was later referred to federal court.

Trump’s Florida complaint repeated some of the claims of his dismissed federal lawsuit against her, which irked Middlebrooks, who wrote in a December order: “This lawsuit has all the telltale signs of being both obnoxious and frivolous.”

In other Trump-related legal developments this week, court officials said Monday that the Trump Organization paid a $1.6 million fine imposed as part of its tax fraud conviction in Manhattan last month for helping executives evade personal income tax on lavish job benefits.

On Tuesday, a Georgia judge heard arguments as he weighed the public release of a special grand jury’s final report on its investigation into whether Trump and his allies violated state law by attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked that the report remain sealed, citing concerns about “future defendants.”

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Fulton County Supreme Court Justice Robert McBurney agreed that he would keep the report private at least for now.

The The US Express News contributed to this report.

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