NEW YORK –
An attorney for the New York state attorney’s office said the office is nearing the end of its three-year investigation of former President Donald Trump and his business practices.
Andrew Amer testified as much at a hearing on a federal lawsuit filed by Trump against Attorney General Letitia James, in her attempt to stop the investigation. His lawyers argued that the investigation is politically motivated.
Trump wants a preliminary injunction to stop the investigation, which James has said uncovered evidence that the former president’s company, the Trump Organization, made false valuations on assets such as skyscrapers and golf courses in financial statements for more than a decade.
James asked a judge to dismiss Trump’s lawsuit.
Federal Judge Brenda Sannes said she will study both issues and issue a written decision. The judge heard arguments for an hour via video. In the end, she didn’t say when she will issue her ruling.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, argued that Democrat James campaigned in 2018 with Trump as an antagonist, and as attorney, has used the position to harass the former president and his company with a wave of subpoenas and requests for evidence.
“We have delivered millions and millions of pages” of evidence, Habbas told Sannes. “We continue to receive citations. They keep looking for things. If they don’t find them, they look again.»
Amer, special litigation counsel for James, responded that the state judge overseeing legal disputes over subpoenas issued by the attorney general’s office has concluded that there is «sufficient evidence to continue the investigation.»
That conclusion, along with the evidence uncovered to date, «really closes the door on any argument» by Trump’s lawyers that the office was proceeding in bad faith, Amer said.
Habba also questioned the way the investigation and state court battles over Trump’s business document requests and subpoenas to testify have unfolded.
He stated that James’ office “ties your hands behind your back and says we’re going to attack you and when we decide to attack you can defend yourself, but you can’t attack us. I cannot file a motion to dismiss.»
We are sitting with our hands tied. We’re just dodging subpoenas right now,” he added.
Due to its civil nature, the James investigation could lead to a lawsuit seeking financial sanctions against Trump or his company or even a ban on them from engaging in certain types of business.