James says that Trump had two years to file a complaint, but only choose to do so after being subpoenaed.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has asked a federal judge to dismiss former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against a years-long investigation into his companies.
In their lawsuit, lawyers for the Office of the Attorney General questioned the timing of Trump’s complaint, noting that the former president took no action for nearly two years. According to James, Trump only filed suit after he was subpoenaed.
“The timing of this lawsuit against the Attorney General—coming only as OAG is nearing the conclusion of its Investigation, is contemplating the filing of an enforcement action, and has sought Mr. Trump’s sworn testimony—belies any notion that there is any objective behind this suit other than distraction and delay,” James’ office said.
New York prosecutors also observed that, while Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have challenged the investigation and its demands, they never contested the legal allegations against them.
“At no point, despite having ample opportunity to do so […] did the Trump Organization or Mr. Trump ever challenge the underlying basis for the Investigation or OAG’s statutory authority to conduct the Investigation,” the filing states. “Until now—only after Mr. Trump was served with a subpoena.”
James’s attorneys pointed out that the Trump Organization, while skeptical of her office’s claims, had largely cooperated with the investigation until Trump was subpoenaed.
“Prior to filing this action, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization cooperated with the Investigation on various matters as it proceeded, producing many current and former Trump Organization employees and agents for examination under oath, and eventually producing over 900,000 documents, including while under judicial supervision,” the Office of the Attorney General wrote. “Indeed, the Trump Organization professed in state court that it had ‘fully cooperated’ with OAG’s investigation through the production of documents and testimony, as well as ‘numerous meet-and-confer sessions.'”
The attorney general, notes Business Insider, has also contested Trump’s counter-claim: that James’s probe is politically motivated and in violation of the former president’s right to free speech.
“Even liberally construed, the complaint does not identify which of Mr. Trump’s viewpoints have been targeted or are in danger of being suppressed, or for what particular protected speech the Investigation supposedly retaliates against him,” lawyers wrote.
James has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety, alleging that Trump’s decision to file the case in a Syracuse, New York, court smacks of “forum shopping,” or an attempt to find a friendlier venue for litigation.
Syracuse, in Western New York, is nearly 250 miles from the Trump Organization’s Manhattan office.
The Trump Organization, meanwhile, maintains that James has no case.
“Her allegations are baseless and will be vigorously defended,” the company said in a statement.