An upstate judge Friday tossed Donald Trump’s suit seeking to halt New York Attorney General Letitia James’ probe — which he has called a “witch hunt.”
The former president filed the lawsuit in Syracuse federal court in December saying that the AG’s two-year investigation into the Trump Organization’s business dealings is being carried out with “political animus” because James views Trump “as a political opponent.”
Trump asked the federal court to halt a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit that James has against Trump and the company claiming they are stonewalling her probe. Or alternatively, Trump asked that James be forced to recuse herself from both her civil case and from her participation in the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal probe.
Syracuse federal Judge Brenda Sannes denied those requests in dismissing Trump’s suit, finding that he could have made the same request of the Manhattan judge handling James’ suit.
“The court concludes that plaintiffs could have raised the claims and requested the relief they seek in the federal action in the New York proceeding,” Sannes’ decision reads.
“Time and time again, the courts have made clear that Donald J. Trump’s baseless legal challenges cannot stop our lawful investigation into his and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” James said in a statement Friday. “No one in this country can pick and choose how the law applies to them, and Donald Trump is no exception.”
Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said: “There is no question that we will be appealing this decision.”
James’ office launched its probe in 2019 after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump had exaggerated company assets for insurance, loan and tax purposes.
The AG then filed suit in 2020 in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming that the company was stonewalling the investigation.