Trump drops second lawsuit against New York Attorney General

Former US President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Hilton Anatole on August 6, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday voluntarily dismissed a second federal civil lawsuit against the New York Attorney General who had been trying to thwart their own $250 million fraud lawsuit against his Manhattan-based real estate firm.

Trump’s latest legal capitulation came less than a week after he was slapped with nearly $1 million in penalties by a Florida federal judge for filing what that judge called frivolous lawsuits against Hillary Clinton.

Attorneys for Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a filing Tuesday they had mutually agreed to dismiss an appeal in the Manhattan federal appeals court.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, made the appeal after a federal judge in New York’s Northern District dismissed his lawsuit against James there.

In a statement, the attorney general said, “I am pleased that Donald Trump has dismissed his two pending lawsuits against my office.”

“As we have shown throughout, we have legitimate litigation against him and his organization and we cannot be harassed or stopped from pursuing him,” James said.

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a statement, “This appeal has been voluntarily withdrawn for strategic reasons.”

James filed her $250 million lawsuit in September against Trump, the Trump Organization and three of his adult children in connection with using allegedly fraudulent financial statements in connection with the company.

James’ lawsuit was filed in New York state court after her investigators spent several years reviewing allegations that the Trump Organization abusively manipulated reported valuations of various real estate assets for financial gain.

Trump sued James in federal court for the Northern District of New York in December 2021 to prevent her from pursuing her investigation. That lawsuit alleged that the attorney general violated Trump’s constitutional rights and asked a judge to issue an injunction that would end or obstruct the investigation.

James’ “mission is guided solely by political animus and a desire to harass, intimidate and retaliate against a private individual whom she considers a political opponent,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in the lawsuit.

That case was dismissed by a judge at James’ request in May.

Two months after James sued him in Manhattan, Trump sued James in a Florida state court in November, claiming their investigation was part of a “war of intimidation and harassment.”

His second lawsuit, which James soon transferred to a Florida federal court, sought to prevent her from obtaining records from a revocable trust he formed in Florida that owns the Trump Organization.

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While Trump was waging a legal war on James, he also targeted another political enemy in a Florida federal court: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he defeated in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump last year sued Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, former FBI officials and more than two dozen other defendants in the case, alleging they attempted to rig the 2016 election by spreading a “false narrative” that he was involved Russia cooperated.

Judge John Middlebrooks dismissed that lawsuit in September, calling it a “political manifesto setting out his grievances against those who opposed him.”

Last Thursday, Middlebrooks ordered Trump and his attorney Habba to pay $937,989 in penalties for filing a lawsuit the judge called “completely frivolous, both in fact and in law.”

Middlebrooks’ order noted how Trump engaged in “a pattern of abuse of the court” and repeatedly used courts “to exact revenge on political opponents.”

The next morning, Trump voluntarily dropped his lawsuit in Florida federal court against James, which had also been handled by Middlebrooks.

Days later, Trump dropped his appeal against the dismissal of the lawsuit against James in New York’s federal court for the Northern District.