A New York state judge on Friday denied motions from former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump to dismiss the New York attorney general’s $250 million lawsuit, finding some of the arguments “frivolous.”
Judge Arthur Engoron had previously rejected several of the Trumps’ legal arguments when he imposed a monitor on the Trump Organization last year.
On Friday, in a written order, he ruled that the Trumps’ repetition of the arguments was “frivolous.”
“Reading these arguments was, to quote the baseball sage Lawrence Peter (‘Yogi’) Berra, ‘Déjà vu all over again,’” the judge wrote.
Engoron had considered imposing sanctions on the Trumps’ lawyers but decided against it.
“Sophisticated defense counsel should have known better,” the judge wrote, adding, “In its discretion this Court will not impose sanctions, which the Court believes are unnecessary, having made its point.”
The judge also rejected the Trumps’ arguments that some of the alleged fraudulent conduct occurred beyond the statute of limitations allowed under the law.
Ivanka Trump, who left the business to go to the White House in 2017, argued that the claims against her were time-barred and that she didn’t personally falsify any business records. The judge said the attorney general’s office has alleged liability “sufficiently” on Trump to survive a motion to dismiss.
In a motion to dismiss the judge must give more favorable weight to the plaintiffs’ allegations.
New York Attorney General Letitia James initially filed the lawsuit in September, in which she alleged the Trumps have used fraudulent financial statements to obtain favorable rates of insurance and loans and tax benefits. The Trumps say the investigation is politically motivated.
In the months since, Donald Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing, has tried to block James’ investigation through multiple legal channels.
In December, a federal judge in Florida rejected his request to block James’ office from obtaining records from the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, which he used to hold his companies upon becoming president in 2017.
Donald Trump filed the civil lawsuit in November, hours after a New York judge denied an effort to move James’ lawsuit into another division of New York state court.
This story has been updated with additional information.