NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s lawyers tried on Friday to persuade a New York judge to throw out most of the lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Letitia James accusing the state’s former president, just 10 days before a scheduled trial or completely dismiss the United States from an “amazing” scam.
In contrast, James’ lawyers asked the same Manhattan judge to hold Trump and other defendants, including his adult children and his family business, the Trump Organization, liable for fraud even before a jury begins hearing the evidence.
Judge Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the case, said at Friday’s hearing that he was expected to rule on the motions on Tuesday after hearing oral arguments. The trial is scheduled to begin on October 2nd.
The trial is moving forward as Trump holds a commanding lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, despite facing a series of legal battles, including four criminal charges in which he has pleaded not guilty.
James has accused Trump of repeatedly lying in financial reports to get better terms on loans and insurance. It alleges that between 2011 and 2021, Trump inflated the value of more than 20 properties, including his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and the Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan, and his own fortune by as much as $3.6 billion US dollar inflated.
Trump called the lawsuit a “witch hunt.”
His lawyers argue that James lacks standing to sue over private transactions that they say were not fraudulent and that most of his claims are not time-barred.
They cited a state appeals court decision in June that dismissed lawsuits against Trump’s daughter Ivanka and several others from before July 2014 or February 2016. The court left it up to Engoron to determine which parties could proceed.