Attorneys for former President Trump, his family and his business have requested that a trial on New York state business fraud charges be delayed from its scheduled Oct. 2 start date.
The Tuesday night filing asks the court to hold the trial after a judge considers both sides’ motions for summary judgment, which could potentially end parts of the case before trial. It also accuses the state of ignoring an appeals court decision that limits the scope of the prosecution.
Attorney General Letitia James (D) brought charges against Trump last year, accusing the former president of lying about his wealth and the value of his assets in order to get better loan and insurance terms.
“A trial of this magnitude should not begin in chaos,” the Trump filing reads. “The Court and the Defendants are entitled to know the claims and issues to be tried sufficiently in advance to prepare adequately for trial.”
An appeals court ruling earlier this year found that certain business fraud counts fell outside the statute of limitations under state law and therefore could not be charged. That same ruling removed Ivanka Trump from the case.
Trump’s attorneys accused James of ignoring that order in her pretrial motion for summary judgment.
“Here, unfortunately, the NYAG has created unjustifiable ambiguity, interfered with the orderly pretrial process, and exposed the Court and the Defendants to the prospect of a needlessly-protracted trial by her refusal to acknowledge the [appeals court’s] statute-of-limitations ruling,” the filing reads.
James’s summary judgment filing last month is 100 pages long and lays out a complex case claiming that Trump’s business purposely manipulated the stated worth of its assets in order to mislead lenders and other business partners.
To accept James’s motion, a judge would have to agree that the Trump Organization submitted false and misleading financial records and that those statements were used during the course of business.
“The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘yes’ based on the mountain of undisputed evidence,” according to the state’s August filing.
If that motion is accepted, the remaining six claims made against Trump and his business would still go to trial. Trump’s attorneys argued in their own summary judgment filing and in the Tuesday delay filing that some of the claims can’t be charged at all.
James’s office is seeking a $250,000 fine and to ban Trump and his children from running businesses in New York in the future.
Trump remains the clear front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary despite multiple legal cases including three criminal trials, one each in Washington and Georgia over claims he attempted to overturn the 2020 election and a third in Miami over allegations he mishandled classified documents.
He has the support of just more than half of Republicans in the primary, according to national polling averages.
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