New York AG asks judge to sanction Trump for rehashing failed legal arguments

New York state Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference in New York, Sept. 8, 2022.

Caitlin Ochs | Reuters

New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge Tuesday to sanction Donald Trump, other defendants, and their lawyers for rehashing the same failed legal arguments in James’ big civil fraud lawsuit against the former president.

James asked that all the defendants be fined $10,000 collectively, and that another fine of $10,000 be imposed on their lawyers collectively.

James’ request came four weeks before trial in the lawsuit is set to begin in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The attorney general in that suit is seeking $250 million in damages from Trump and the other defendants for what she alleges is widespread fraud related to a decade of financial statements.

In her filing Tuesday, James said that since last October, the defendants have made the same legal arguments against her lawsuit five separate times.

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James noted Judge Arthur Engoron has the discretion to “impose financial sanctions upon any party or attorney in a civil action or proceeding who engages in frivolous conduct.”

The filing said that conduct is frivolous if “it is completely without merit in law,” or if it is done “primarily to delay or prolong the resolution of litigation.”

The arguments the Trump defendants repeatedly have raised include relate to claims that James does not have the legal standing to sue them under New York law.

James in her filing said Engoron and appeals court rejected those arguments when they were made in separate filings in October, November, and February. They later were resurrected iun filings in August and again on Friday.

Engoron, in slapping down the arguments for the second time in January, called them “borderline frivolous even the first time defendants made them.”

“Sophisticated defense counsel should have known better,” Engoron wrote.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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