A federal judge in Albany, New York, Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump against Letitia James.
In the federal legal action filed in December, the president noted many instances where James promised to hound Trump before she was elected New York State’s Attorney General.
U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes, appointed in 2014 by former President Barack Obama, acknowledged the state’s attorney general is politically opposed to Trump. Sannes noted that public statements by James about Trump clearly show she passionately disagrees with his political views. She explained that it is not enough for dismissal because Trump did not connect the dots between her opinions and her investigation.
Alina Habba, the lawyer representing Trump in the lawsuit, explained how James promised to investigate Trump dozens of times over seven months before she ever assumed office.
“[Ms. James] did not state a legal or factual basis for such promises,” Habba argued. “She could not. After all, her knowledge of Trump’s business activities was no greater than that of any other citizen. Rather, her only justification for the forthcoming investigation was her political opposition to Trump.” She filled eight pages of the lawsuit documenting instances suggesting political animus against Trump.
“The fact that [James’] public statements reflect personal and/or political animus toward [Trump] is not, in and of itself, sufficient,” Sannes wrote in her order dismissing the suit. She added that Trump could have raised the claims and requested the relief he sought in her federal court in the New York State proceeding.
The attorney general has said she is looking into whether Trump widely overvalued the Trump Organization’s assets to obtain loans and undervalued them for tax purposes.
“There is no question that we will be appealing this decision,” Habba said, according to the Times Union report. “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.”
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