New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) filed a $250 million civil lawsuit this week against former President Donald Trump, his family, and his business over allegedly fraudulent property values.
Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett argued that the lawsuit should ultimately be dismissed, though, as it lacks any merit and is merely the exemplification of James’ undisguised partisan bias and hatred toward the former president.
In fact, Jarrett asserted that the lawsuit “is not just frivolous, it is politically punitive and grossly unethical.”
James files massive punitive lawsuit against Trump
AG James announced Wednesday that she had filed a civil lawsuit alleging financial fraud against former President Trump, three of his adult children — Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric — other top executives at Trump’s company, and the Trump Organization itself.
In that suit, James alleged that Trump and others acted to deliberately manipulate the claimed values of various assets and properties in order to obtain more favorable terms for bank loans, insurance policies, and tax benefits and liabilities.
If successful, the attorney general will demand that Trump and his children be permanently barred from doing any business in the state, to prohibit Trump and his Organization from purchasing any commercial real estate in New York for five years, and to “recover” up to $250 million that she asserts was “obtained through the persistent fraudulent practices.”
James has no real case here
According to Jarrett, however, AG James would have a rather “high burden” to actually prove any wrongdoing as what she is suing Trump over is actually, like it or not, rather standard practice in the real estate market where “such valuations are notoriously subjective.”
Furthermore, all of the valuations that James has taken issue with were derived and prepared by professionals on behalf of Trump, and not by Trump himself or his Organization.
And, on top of that, there doesn’t appear to be any actual harm or victims here, as all of the banks who extended loans — who would have conducted their own appraisals as part of their fiduciary duties — and insurance companies who offered policies were all paid in full and none have alleged fraud or filed complaints.
Former President Trump also confirmed all of that himself during an interview this week with Fox News host Sean Hannity, in which he alluded to James’ overt partisan bias against him.
Overt bias likely violates conduct codes, ethical standards, could constitute “selective prosecution”
AG James’ bias, according to Jarrett, may actually prove to be the undoing of this lawsuit, as Trump’s attorneys can simply point to the numerous public statements from James both before and after she was elected as attorney general in which she made it abundantly clear that her singular focus above everything else was finding something — anything — that could be used criminally or civilly against Trump.
Her overtly biased actions appear to clearly violate New York’s code of conduct for prosecutors as well as the American Bar Association’s ethical standards, and, if the suit isn’t dismissed, Trump’s attorneys could easily argue “selective prosecution” given that James has specifically targeted Trump while ignoring other real estate developers who have done virtually the same sort of things for decades.