Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing New York Attorney General Letita James of conducting a “witch hunt” and violating the former president’s right to privacy in the state’s civil fraud suit against him and three of his children. The New York Times reported a day later that Trump’s own legal team attempted to block the suit, calling it frivolous, and even warning that it borders on malpractice.
Members of Trump’s legal teams both in Florida and New York allegedly expressed concern that the suit would undermine their defense in the New York trial. Sources tell the Times that Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel, lambasted Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn, the alleged brains behind the suit, in an email. Epshteyn was one of the key figures behind a scheme to provide a slew of alternate Electoral College electors in order to overturn the results of the 2020 election in favor of Trump.
The text of the suit indeed reads like it was written by a sycophant of the former president. Passages devote extensive prose to lauding Trump’s business acumen, including such verbiage as:
“As a private company, nobody knew very much about the great business that then–businessman Donald Trump had built but now it is being revealed by James and much to her chagrin. The continuing witch hunt that has haunted and targeted Donald Trump since he came down the “golden escalator” at Trump Tower in June of 2015 continues. President Trump built a great and prosperous company but a company nevertheless that must be carefully, delicately, yet powerfully managed, and the appointment of a political monitor or the interference by a political hack like James who is using this lawsuit for political gain, would bring great harm to the company, the brand, the employees and its overall reputation. Likewise, it could virtually destroy the highly profitable Florida properties, which include the legendaryTrump National Doral Golf Club and Resort (one of the most successful in the world), Trump International Golf Club Palm Beach, Florida, Trump Jupiter Country Club in Jupiter, FL, and, of course,one of the greatest and most successful clubs in the world,The Mar-a-Lago Club.”
Gerald Greenberg, partner at Florida law firm Gelber, Schachter and Greenberg, told the Times that the suit appeared to be “objectively frivolous.” “I’m aware of no authority that allows a state court in Florida to enjoin or otherwise interfere with a law enforcement investigation being conducted by New York state authorities,” Greenberg said.
The suit asked that the Trump’s companies not be placed under the purview of a court-appointed independent monitor, a request New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron decided Thursday would not be granted.
The tone of the Florida filing apparently matches the argument being made in New York’s courtrooms. In court on Thursday, Justice Engoron allegedly described team Trump’s arguments against James’ request as being comprised mostly of hot air.
“Today’s decision will ensure that Donald Trump and his companies cannot continue the extensive fraud that we uncovered and will require the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance at the Trump Organization, said James in a statement released by her office. “No number of lawsuits, delay tactics, or threats will stop our pursuit of justice.”