New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) office late Wednesday night pushed back on former President Trump’s “brazen and meritless” attempt to delay an upcoming civil trial in which she is suing Trump, his business and two of his adult children for fraud.
James warned a delay could cause issues with Trump’s broader court calendar, in which he is facing four criminal indictments. The trial in this civil suit was set to begin Oct. 2, but a judge issued an interim pause after Trump claimed the trial judge was ignoring an appellate ruling. The pause request now heads to a panel of New York appeals judges for a final decision.
Judith Vale, deputy solicitor general in James’s office, called Trump’s petition a “brazen and meritless attempt” to “usurp” the trial judge’s authority to manage his own docket and his “fundamental judicial role” to issue certain rulings.
The New York attorney general’s office is suing Trump, the Trump Organization and two of his adult children, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., alleging more than a decade of fraud. The lawsuit claims Trump’s company falsely inflated and deflated the value of its assets for personal gain, like lower taxes and better insurance coverage.
James’s office in the new court filings asked that the panel reject Trump’s delay request and issue the ruling before Oct. 2 so the trial can begin on time.
James’s office portrayed Trump’s delay attempt as an effort to get around the trial court’s upcoming summary judgment ruling, which could resolve the case ahead of the trial.
“To rule otherwise would upend the judicial process,” Vale wrote in new filings asking the court to deny Trump’s request.
Some $250 million in financial penalties are sought by James’s office, plus Trump and his children would be barred from serving as officers or directors of New York-registered or licensed corporations.
James’s office, in pushing back on Trump’s latest request, noted the former president’s upcoming criminal and civil trials scheduled for early next year.
“Even a brief stay of the October 2 trial date would likely wreak havoc on the trial schedule not only in this proceeding but also in scheduled trials in other courts that involve petitioner Donald J. Trump,” James’s office wrote.
The judge overseeing the fraud case previously suggested the trial could extend through late December, if the current start date holds.
Trump is scheduled to go on a civil defamation trial in a case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll beginning Jan. 15.
The former president’s criminal trial in the federal 2020 election subversion case is scheduled for March 4, his hush money criminal case is scheduled to begin March 25, and his classified documents case is set to begin May 20.
A fourth possible trial date in Georgia, where the former president is accused of attempting to subvert the state’s election results, has not yet been set.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in each case.