Trump drops the appeal and ends the legal battle over the New York investigation

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump has abandoned efforts to reinstate his federal lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James — the second time he has dropped legal action against her after a judge accused and his attorneys of filing frivolously last week had fined nearly $1 million in cases.

Trump’s attorneys and James’ office on Tuesday agreed on a provision to end an appeal seeking to reverse a judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit. Republican Trump sued Democrat James in December 2021 to prevent her from investigating him and his businesses.

Trump re-sued James after their September lawsuit, alleging that he and his company, the Trump Organization, deceived banks and others about the value of his assets, including golf courses and hotels that bear his name, in a practice they “the Art” called des Steal” – a modification of the title of his book “The Art of the Deal”.

Trump dropped that lawsuit last week after a Florida federal judge, Donald M. Middlebrooks, accused him of a “pattern of abuse of the courts” for filing frivolous lawsuits for political ends, including what he said was a falsified lawsuit against Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and others.

The James v. Trump case is pending. She wants a judge to fine Trump $250 million and permanently ban him from doing business in the state. The trial is scheduled for October.

“I am pleased that Donald Trump has withdrawn his two pending lawsuits against my office,” James said in a statement Tuesday. “As we have shown throughout, we have legitimate litigation against him and his organization and we cannot be harassed or stopped from pursuing him.”

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said the appeal “was voluntarily withdrawn for strategic reasons.”

US District Judge Brenda Sannes dismissed Trump’s original lawsuit against the New York Attorney General in May 2022, allowing her civil investigation to proceed. Sannes wrote at the time that case law barred federal judges from interfering in state-level investigations and that there was no evidence to support his claim that James targeted him out of political animosity.

Trump’s now-withdrawn second lawsuit, filed in November, aimed to prevent James from overseeing the family trust that controls his company. Trump initially filed this case in a Florida state court, but it was later moved to federal court.

Trump’s Florida lawsuit rehashed some allegations from his dismissed federal lawsuit against her, which irritated Middlebrooks, who wrote in a December order, “This litigation has every telltale sign of being both annoying and reckless.”

This week has been packed with legal developments surrounding Trump.

On Monday, court officials say, the Trump Organization paid a $1.6 million penalty as part of its tax fraud conviction last month in Manhattan for helping executives pay personal income taxes for lavish job perks evade.

On Tuesday, a Georgia judge heard arguments as he weighed the public release of a special grand jury’s final report on its investigation into possible illegal interference in the 2020 presidential election by Trump and his allies. He said he would keep the report secret for the time being.