Trump first filed the lawsuit in federal court in Syracuse, N.Y., alleging that James violated his and his company’s rights through the politically motivated investigation. Trump appealed the ruling after a judge found “no evidence” in May that James acted with bias.
Withdrawing the appeal Tuesday was the second time in five days that Trump has dropped his lawsuit against James, who is pursuing a $250 million lawsuit against Trump. It accuses the former president, his three grown children and executives of his companies of blatantly manipulating property and other asset valuations to deceive lenders, insurance brokers and tax authorities into giving them better rates on bank loans and insurance policies and Reduce their tax liabilities.
On Friday, Trump, who has announced his 2024 presidential bid, withdrew a separate lawsuit filed in Florida seeking to block James from reviewing his revocable trust. The one-page federal district court filing also did not provide a reason for the withdrawal.
The move comes days after U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks fined Trump and Habba nearly $1 million for slapping their 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton and others filed frivolous lawsuits.
In his 46-page judgment, Middlebrooks cited the lawsuit against James as one that demonstrates Trump’s “abuse of the court model.”
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has scheduled James’ major civil case against Trump for October.
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 hotel business of knowingly defrauding lenders, insurance brokers and tax agencies to obtain better loan rates and reduce its tax liability. Using fake asset valuation data from 2011 to 2021.
Trump’s lawsuit, which was withdrawn in Florida last week, accused James of “repeatedly abusing her position as New York attorney general to retaliate against President Trump” — a claim Trump made in the New York case Similar to Tuesday’s withdrawal.
Middlebrooks wrote in his judgment, published late Thursday, that Trump is a “prolific and sophisticated litigator who has repeatedly used the courts to exact revenge on political opponents.”
“He is the mastermind behind the strategic abuse of the judicial process and cannot be dismissed as a litigant blindly following counsel’s advice. He is acutely aware of the implications of his actions,” Middlebrooks wrote. “Therefore, I believe that sanctions should be imposed on Mr. Trump and his lead counsel, Ms. Harba.”
The court ruled that Trump, Habba and the law firm of Habba Madaio & Associates were jointly liable for $937,989.39.