Trump Changes Mind on Complaint Against NY AG

$900K sanction from judge on 'frivolous' lawsuits the day before may have spurred the move
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2022 7:46 AM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2023 1:07 PM CST
Judge Warns Trump About 'Frivolous' Lawsuit
Former President Donald Trump is seen while speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Nov. 15.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
UPDATE Jan 20, 2023 1:07 PM CST

A complaint filed by Donald Trump against New York Attorney General Letitia James deemed "vexatious" late last year by a federal judge has been withdrawn by the former president's legal team. The Hill reports that the lawsuit was pulled back Friday after Trump and his attorneys were hit Thursday with an order to pay more than $900,000 for continually filing "frivolous" complaints. That ruling had come down from Florida District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks in relation to a lawsuit Trump had filed against rival Hillary Clinton, per Axios. In Thursday's 46-page order, Middlebrooks called Trump "a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries," adding: "He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process."

Dec 22, 2022 7:46 AM CST

Former President Trump really doesn't want New York Attorney General Letitia James putting a court-appointed monitor in place to oversee his businesses, and he filed an emergency motion last month to prevent her from doing so. Now, a federal judge has thrown out a warning to Trump on his efforts to impede James' actions, warning there could be consequences if he continues down this path. "This litigation has all the telltale signs of being both vexatious and frivolous," Judge Donald Middlebrooks wrote Wednesday in an eight-page ruling that rebuffed Trump's attempt to get James out of his business, per Politico.

"To now impede a civil Enforcement Action by the New York Attorney General would be unprecedented and contrary to the interests of the people of New York," Middlebrooks adds, per Law & Crime. Trump's suit, which was originally filed in a Florida state court before being transferred to a nearby federal court, came about after James filed her own against him, his Trump Organization, and his three oldest children in September, following a three-year-plus probe. James accused the Trump Org of engaging in repeated fraud and requested a state judge put a monitor in place to keep tabs on the company while the legalities play out. Trump is appealing that judge's decision to honor James' request.

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But Middlebrooks has ruled that Trump's own complaint—which accuses James of conducting a "relentless, pernicious, public, and unapologetic crusade" against him and his business—doesn't hold water for multiple reasons, including that Trump filed it in Florida against a New York attorney general, as well as that another suit Trump filed in federal court in New York over James' investigation was thrown out. At any rate, Middlebrooks is now warning that sanctions could be forthcoming, and Politico notes that Trump might want to heed that warning: Last month, the judge hit four attorneys tied to another Trump suit, this one against former rival Hillary Clinton and others, with a $66,000 penalty for "political grievances masquerading as legal claims." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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