New York Attorney General Letitia James is pushing back against former U.S. President Donald Trump’s request to delay her civil fraud case against him. In a court filing submitted on Wednesday night, James urged a state judge to reject Trump’s bid for an additional six months to gather evidence to defend himself adequately at trial. She accused Trump and other defendants of being slow to conduct their witness depositions, despite her office providing them with a vast quantity of material, including 1.7 million documents and interview transcripts for 56 witnesses.
James argued that the evidence provided by her office was sufficient to afford the defendants due process and prevent the trial from becoming a “game of surprise.” She also noted that Trump may use his potential White House run in 2024 as an excuse for further delay, as in 2016 and 2020. James emphasized that there is no reason to believe 2024 would be different.
Lawyers representing the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, has scheduled a hearing for March 21 to consider the trial schedule.
The lawsuit James filed last September after a three-year probe seeks $250 million in damages from Trump, his three adult children, the Trump Organization, and others. It concerns an alleged decade-long scheme to manipulate over 200 asset valuations and Trump’s net worth to secure better terms from banks and insurers.
Trump, a Republican, has labeled James’ case a partisan witch hunt. James, a Democrat, is also leading a criminal probe by the state attorney general’s office into whether the Trump Organization misled lenders and insurers by inflating the value of its assets.
The civil fraud case against Trump is separate from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal investigation into a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump before the 2016 presidential election. Bragg’s probe will focus on whether the payment violated state laws.
The legal challenges facing Trump and his organization underscore the former president’s legal peril as he contemplates a potential return to politics. The outcome of these cases could have a significant impact on his political future, as well as his financial and legal liabilities.
As the legal battles continue to unfold, it remains to be seen what the outcome will be for Trump and his organization. However, what is clear is that the cases are likely to have significant ramifications for both Trump’s political future and his financial and legal liabilities.