New York Attorney General Letitia James has asked an appeals court not to “wreak havoc” on Donald Trump’s teeming trial schedule and deny his latest bid to blow up her fraud case.
In papers filed late Wednesday, James’ deputy solicitor general, Judith Vale, described Trump’s recent request to the 1st Department appellate court — which seeks to delay his Oct. 2 trial — as a “brazen and meritless attempt” to undercut the presiding judge’s authority.
The state appeals court paused the trial schedule upon receiving Trump’s Article 78 petition last week targeting the judge and James, but it could still start on time as the court is expected to rule on it next week.
Trump’s petition accused Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron of abusing his power, neglecting a June ruling by the appellate court he says should scale down the AG’s mammoth case and other matters. It follows similar legal swings Trump has taken at judges in his other cases.
“Even a brief [pause] of the Oct. 2 trial date would likely wreak havoc on the trial schedule not only in this proceeding but also in scheduled trials in other courts that involve petitioner Donald J. Trump,” Vale wrote, later adding Trump has “no chance” of satisfying the “extraordinarily high standards” in his request.
Trump’s trial schedule ahead of the 2024 presidential election is jam-packed.
The AG’s case, which demands $250 million and to severely curtail the Trumps’ business prospects in New York, is estimated to run for about three months, according to Engoron. He has four more trials scheduled in 2024.
Vale described Trump’s petition as premature and “a procedurally improper and meritless request” that can be boiled down to asking the appeals court to undermine Engoron’s case management and predetermine his rulings on outstanding motions.
Engoron is expected to hear arguments on those cross-motions on Friday.
James wants him to rule on her chief fraud claim, alleging Trump and his co-defendants filed false or misleading financial statements for a decade, exaggerating his net worth by billions, and repeatedly used those fake numbers in business transactions. Trump wants him to throw out the whole case.
Trump denies all allegations in all cases. His lawyer, Chris Kise, did not return a call seeking comment.