New York AG is judge shopping, say Trump attorneys, will fast-track trial to beat 2024 primary

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking to both fast-track her $250 million lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and also have the case heard by a judge with a history of making anti-Trump rulings.

Trump’s legal team meanwhile is crying foul and accusing James of trying to “judge shop.”

In a court filing submitted Thursday, James’ office said they’d like to get the trial rolling before the end of 2023, meaning before the 2024 presidential primary elections begin.

“Given the fact that this action involves allegations of an ongoing scheme and conspiracy to obtain millions of dollars through fraudulent activity, and that defendants repeatedly have sought to delay the conclusion of OAG’s investigation, it is imperative that this case proceed quickly,” the filing reads, as reported by The Daily Beast.

James’ office also requested that the case remain before State Supreme Court Justice and Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron, a man known for his large number of anti-Trump rulings.

“OAG intends to seek an expedited preliminary conference to set a trial date before the end of 2023. Allowing for an expedited trial schedule on an enforcement proceeding after extensive litigation over subpoena enforcement is precisely the circumstance that warrants keeping this case before Justice Engoron in the interests of judicial economy,” the filing reads.

In April of this year, Engoron “found former President Donald Trump (R) in contempt of court for not complying with a subpoena issued by the New York state attorney general’s office,” according to Ballotpedia.

“Engoron found that Trump failed to provide documents requested by the attorney general’s office and ordered Trump to comply with the subpoena or pay a fine of $10,000 per day,” Ballotpedia notes.

Additional examples of his anti-Trump rulings are cited below:

Notice the latter tweet.

“A Manhattan judge Thursday called Donald Trump ‘just a bad guy’ in a scathing rebuke to a lawyer arguing that the former president was being unfairly singled out for investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James,” HuffPost reported in February.

The Manhattan judge was Engoron, and this is the guy James wants overseeing her lawsuit against Trump, his business empire, and his family.

Trump’s lawyers have, for their part, called bull.

“Trump’s lawyers are objecting to Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s continued involvement and accused Attorney General Letitia James’ office of attempting to ‘judge shop’ because, in paperwork seeking assignment of a judge, it noted Engoron’s knowledge of the case and linked the lawsuit and subpoena disputes as ‘related’ matters,” according to the Associated Press.

“In a letter Thursday to the court’s administrative judge, Trump lawyer Alina Habba argued that the lawsuit should instead be assigned to the court’s Commercial Division, which is set up to handle complex corporate litigation.”

And which presumably isn’t tinged with anti-Trump bias. Though to be fair, it’s not clear there’s a single judge in New York who doesn’t harbor anti-Trump bias.

Like Trump himself said in a statement back in February, “I can’t get a fair hearing in New York because of the hatred of me by judges and the judiciary. It is not possible!”

All this comes after James filed a whopping $250 million suit last month against Trump, his eldest children, his business associates, and his businesses.

As previously reported, she’s accused him and his allies of inflating their net worth by billions of dollars and misleading banks and other institutions regarding the value of their assets.

“Mr. Trump and the Trump Org repeatedly and persistently manipulated the value of assets to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company to pay lower taxes, to satisfy continuing loan agreements, and to induce insurance companies to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums,” she said during a Sept. 21st press conference.

“Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself, and cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us,” she added.

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Vivek Saxena

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