Judge Dismisses Trump’s Lawsuit to Stop Investigation Into His Business | National News

A federal judge on Friday dismissed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against New York’s attorney general after he claimed her investigation into his business proceedings was politically biased and violated his constitutional rights.

The ruling allows New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into the Trump organization to continue and comes a day after a state court ruled that Trump and his two older children must answer questions under oath in compliance with James’ subpoena earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes in her 43-page ruling wrote that while Trump and his team pointed to many comments from James that they argue reveal “personal animus toward Mr. Trump and evince an intent to retaliate for or stifle plaintiffs’ free speech” she added that they did not show that James’ effort to subpoena the company and its members “was commenced for the purpose of retaliation.”

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The developments come in response to a years-long investigation by James of the Trump Organization, spurred by testimony to Congress on what Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen described as misleading asset valuations. In March, the investigation by James’ office uncovered “significant evidence” suggesting that the Trump Organization for more than a decade relied on misleading asset valuations in its financial statements to “secure economic benefits,” the office said in court filings.

“The evidence collected to date suggests that financial statements, tax submissions, loan guarantees, and other documents contain material misstatements and omissions,” the filings made by James said. “These misrepresentations appear to have been aimed at portraying Mr. Trump’s net worth and liquidity as higher than the true facts warranted, to secure economic benefits to which Mr. Trump might not otherwise have been entitled.”

The court papers, which argue that the evidence suggests the misrepresentations of assets would have “breached contractual covenants, required recalculating the assets’ actual worth, altered the transactions’ risk profile, or caused the businesses to reconsider entering the transactions,” came in response to Trump’s appeal of a state court judge’s order that required Trump to submit to interviews under oath.

Earlier this year, Trump and his two children moved to quash the subpoenas from James’ office, arguing that the civil investigation was being conducted to aid a criminal investigation, which James’ office is also involved in. Allowing the testimony in the civil case – which they argued could be used against them in the criminal case – without the protections that New York law would require if they were to testify before a grand jury in a criminal case would set a “dangerous precedent,” according to the Trump Organization’s lawyers.

James said in the filing that she had issued subpoenas to the three individuals “to help reach a final determination about whether there has been civil fraud and who may be responsible for such fraud,” noting that the “civil subpoenas do not compel appellants to provide information that may be used against them in a future criminal case.”

On Thursday, a state appeals court rejected Trump’s argument that because his testimony could be used in the criminal investigation, he should be excused from testifying.