Trump first filed the suit in federal court in Syracuse, New York, alleging that James violated his rights and those of his company by conducting a politically motivated investigation. After a judge in May found “no evidence” that James acted with bias, Trump appealed the decision.
Tuesday’s withdrawal of that complaint was the second time in five days that Trump has dropped a lawsuit against James, who is suing Trump for $250 million. He accuses the former president, three of his grown children and his company executives of grossly manipulating property valuations and other assets to trick lenders, insurance brokers and tax authorities into giving them better interest rates on bank loans and insurance policies and reduce their tax liabilities.
On Friday, Trump — who has announced a 2024 presidential bid — dropped a separate lawsuit filed in Florida that sought to stop James’ control of his revocable trust. A unilateral filing in federal district court also provides no reason for this withdrawal.
Days earlier, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks fined Trump and Haba nearly $1 million for a frivolous lawsuit filed against his 2016 presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, and others.
In his 46-page ruling, Middlebrooks cited the case against James as one that demonstrated a “pattern of abuse of the courts” by Trump.
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron set an October date for James’ major civil suit against Trump.
The lawsuit, which could cripple the Trump Organization’s ability to do business in New York, accuses the family-run real estate, golf resort and hospitality business of intentionally defrauding lenders, insurance brokers and tax agencies to get preferential loan rates and reduce his tax liability by using false asset valuation data from 2011 to 2021.
The lawsuit against Trump, which was dropped last week in Florida, alleges that James “repeatedly abused her position as New York State Attorney General to pursue a vendetta against President Trump,” an allegation similar to what Trump has said in the New York case withdrawn on Tuesday.
Middlebrooks, in a ruling released late Thursday, wrote that Trump is a “prolific and sophisticated litigant who has repeatedly used the courts to seek revenge against political opponents.”
“He is the mastermind behind the strategic abuse of court process and cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of counsel.” He knew full well the impact of his actions,” Middlebrooks wrote. “As such, I find that sanctions should be imposed on Mr. Trump and his lead attorney, Ms. Haba.”
Trump, Habba and the law firm Habba Madaio & Associates are jointly and severally liable for $937,989.39, the court found.