Judge rejects Trump bid to delay New York fraud trial

A New York state judge has rejected Donald Trump’s bid to delay a scheduled trial in state Attorney-General Letitia James’ civil fraud lawsuit accusing him, family members and his business of overvaluing assets by billions of dollars.

Mr Trump and the other defendants had said the trial should be “briefly” delayed until three weeks after Justice Arthur Engoron ruled on both sides’ requests for summary judgments, which seek victory on various legal issues without the need for a trial.

In a Tuesday night court filing, Mr Trump accused Ms James of “callous disregard” of a June 27 appeals court decision that prevented her from suing over loans that took place too long ago, “substantially” limiting the claims remaining for trial.

But in a one-sentence order, Judge Engoron called Mr Trump’s arguments for a delay “completely without merit”.

The judge had earlier this year said the October 2 trial date would not change “come hell or high water”.

Lawyers for Mr Trump and the other defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Ms James’ office had no immediate comment.

Separately, the defendants on Tuesday (local time) demanded that Ms James withdraw what they called her “frivolous” motion to sanction them and their lawyers $US20,000 ($31,200) for rehashing what she called their “frivolous” legal arguments on multiple issues.

On Wednesday, Ms James refused the demand, saying that just because there was now a more “complete record” did not make legal arguments that courts have repeatedly rejected any better.

Ms James is suing Mr Trump, his sons Donald Jr and Eric, and others for allegedly inflating asset values in a decade of annual financial statements to obtain better terms on loans and insurance.

The attorney-general said the fraud enabled Mr Trump to inflate his net worth by as much as $US2.23 billion ($3.49 billion), and that he should be found liable for fraud even before a trial began.

Ms James is seeking at least $US250 million ($391 million), and to bar Mr Trump and his sons from leading their family business.

The defendants have denied wrongdoing, and Mr Trump has called Ms James’ case part of a partisan “witch hunt”.

In another legal development on Wednesday, a federal judge found Mr Trump liable for defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll by denying in 2019 that he had raped her, and said jurors will decide only how much Mr Trump owes in damages.

Mr Trump has separately pleaded not guilty to charges in four separate federal and state criminal indictments, including two indictments for attempting to reverse his 2020 election loss.

Despite his legal problems, Mr Trump has a dominating lead for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.


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