New York attorney general calls Trump effort to block investigation ‘baseless and meritless collateral attack’

·2 min read

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit from Donald Trump seeking to block her office from investigating his business and allegations of inflated wealth.

In a statement on 26 January, the attorney general called the former president’s attempt to obstruct her probe “nothing but a baseless and meritless collateral attack”

“In the three years that we have been conducting this investigation, the Trump Organization and its principles have never challenged the legality of the investigation, until now, when Mr Trump himself was subpoenaed to testify,” she said.

Her office has accused the Trump family and New York-based Trump Organization of “fraudulent or misleading” practices, including repeatedly misrepresenting the value of assets, “to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.”

No charges have yet been filed, but her latest filings on 18 January mark the most detailed account yet following long-running allegations involving the Trump Organization and his family.

Her office also has asked the court to compel testimony from the former president, his daughter Ivanka Trump and oldest son Donald Trump Jr.

The Trumps have sought to quash subpoenas for their testimony, accusing Ms James of launching a political witch hunt, and have sued her office in federal court in an effort to end the investigation or recuse herself from it.

“She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in a statement.

Ms James said on Wednesday that her office will “not be deterred by frivolous lawsuits” and will “continue to follow the facts of this case because no one is above the law.”

Her filing notes that since the beginning of the years-long probe, the former president and associates have been issued “multiple orders” for documents and testimony, which have produced more than 900,000 documents and brought in more than a dozen current and former employees – none of which has been blocked by Mr Trump.

But “at no point, despite having ample opportunity to do so in the [proceedings], did the Trump Organization or Mr Trump ever challenge the underlying legal basis” for the investigation or Ms James’s authority, the filing argues.

“Plaintiffs are state-court losers seeking to collaterally attack final, appealable orders” from the court, she writes.