The former president voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against James a day after the same court sanctioned him and an attorney nearly $1 million for filing frivolous claims against Hillary Clinton and other Democratic officials.
Former President Donald Trump has withdrawn the lawsuit he filed seeking to prevent New York Attorney General Letitia James from accessing his private trust records.
According to CNN, Trump attorney Timothy Weber filed a one-page notice with U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks. In the notice, Weber simply informed the court of Trump’s intent to dismiss the lawsuit. No further explanation was provided.
However, in January, Middlebrooks rejected Trump’s request to issue a temporary injunction barring James from obtaining documents relating to the trust, its ownership, and its administration, finding that the former president’s motion had “no substantial likelihood of success on its own merits.”
As LegalReader.com has reported before, Middlebrooks recently sanctioned Trump and another of his attorneys—Alina Habba—an estimated $938,000 for filing a “frivolous,” politically motivated lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, Democratic leaders, and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials.
In that lawsuit, Trump alleged that Clinton and others had conspired to tarnish his reputation by opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s suspected collusion with the Russian government before and during the 2016 presidential election.
Middlebrooks issued a scathing rebuke of the lawsuit, stating that no “reasonable” attorney would have filed a similar complaint.
“We are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” Middlebrooks wrote on Thursday.
“This case should never have been brought. Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start,” Middlebrooks wrote. “No reasonable lawyer would have filed it. Intended for a political purpose, none of the counts of the amended complaint stated a cognizable legal claim.”
Middlebrooks also observed that Trump has a longstanding and notorious reputation as a “prolific and sophisticated litigant” who often manipulates the judicial process to punish his personal and political adversaries.
While ordering sanctions, Middlebrooks warned that Trump and his legal team could face additional sanctions relating to the lawsuit against James.
CNN notes that James, a Democrat, subpoenaed records relating to the Donald J. Trust Revocable Trust, which Trump used to administer his companies when he took the White House in 2017.
In August, James’s office e-mailed Trump’s legal team a list of specific trust documents sought by the subpoena.
However, within a month, James filed a lawsuit against Trump, his three eldest children, and the Trump Organization, claiming that they had engaged in a decades-long legal scheme to defraud financial lenders and insurance companies by grossly exaggerating the value of their assets and real property holdings.