NEW YORK (UKTN) — Former President Donald Trump has abandoned efforts to rekindle his federal lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James — the second time he has dropped legal action against her after a judge last week ordered him and fined his lawyers nearly $1 million for filing frivolous cases.
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, 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 stealing’ – a twist on the title of his book ‘The Art of the Deal’.
Trump dropped that lawsuit last week after a Florida federal judge, Donald M. Middlebrooks, charged him with a “pattern of abuse of the courts” for bringing frivolous lawsuits for political purposes, including what he says is a fake lawsuit was against Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and others.
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 state. The trial is scheduled for October.
“I am pleased that Donald Trump has withdrawn both of his pending actions against my agency,” James said in a statement Tuesday.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.”
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said the appeal was “voluntarily withdrawn for strategic reasons.”
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Trump’s since-withdrawn second lawsuit, filed in November, sought to prevent James from having any oversight over the family fund that controls his company.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 allegations from 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.”
This week was all about Trump-related legal developments.
On Monday, court officials say, 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 taxes on lavish job benefits .
On Tuesday, a Georgia judge heard arguments as he weighs the public release of a special grand jury’s final report on its investigation into possible illegal interference in the 2020 presidential election by Trump and his allies. He said he would keep the report private for now.