According to a report by PBS on Friday, October 6, 2023, former President Donald Trump has withdrawn his lawsuit against the New York judge who presided over his civil fraud trial, which resulted in a devastating verdict for his family business.
Trump had sued Justice Arthur F. Engoron in a desperate attempt to stop the trial, but he failed to convince the judge or the appeals court to halt the proceedings.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Sept. 29, 2023, claimed that Engoron was biased and had violated Trump’s due process rights by allowing the New York Attorney General’s Office to pursue the case against him.
Trump accused Engoron of making “inflammatory and prejudicial” statements about him and his company, and of having a “personal animus” against him.
Trump also alleged that Engoron had a conflict of interest because he had previously represented a law firm that had sued Trump in another case.
Trump demanded that Engoron recuse himself from the trial and that all his rulings be vacated.
However, Engoron dismissed Trump’s lawsuit as “frivolous” and “meritless” and refused to step down from the case.
He also denied any bias or conflict of interest and said that he had acted impartially and fairly throughout the trial.
The appeals court also rejected Trump’s request for an emergency stay of the trial, which began on Oct. 2, 2023.
The court said that Trump had not shown any likelihood of success on the merits of his lawsuit, or any irreparable harm from the continuation of the trial.
The trial, which lasted for three weeks, was based on a four-year investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office into Trump’s business practices.
The office alleged that Trump and his company had engaged in a “pattern of persistent fraud” by inflating and deflating the value of their assets for various purposes, such as obtaining loans, tax benefits, and insurance coverage.
The office also claimed that Trump and his company had misled investors, lenders, regulators, and the public about the financial performance and prospects of their projects, such as the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.
The trial featured testimony from several former employees and associates of Trump and his company, as well as experts and analysts who examined thousands of documents and records.
The office also presented evidence from Trump’s own depositions and interviews, in which he admitted to exaggerating and lying about his assets and income.
On Oct. 23, 2023, Engoron delivered his verdict, finding that Trump and his company had committed fraud on a “massive scale” and had violated several state laws.
He ordered that the licenses of the Trump Organization and its subsidiaries be revoked and that they pay $250 million in damages to the state of New York.
Engoron also said that he would consider imposing additional sanctions and penalties on Trump and his company, such as disgorgement of profits, restitution to victims, and punitive damages.
He scheduled a hearing for Nov. 15, 2023, to determine the final amount of the judgment.
Trump reacted to the verdict by calling it “a disgrace” and “a political witch hunt” by the “radical left.”
He vowed to appeal the decision and said that he was confident that he would win in the end.
However, on Oct. 28, 2023, Trump’s lawyers filed a notice of dismissal of his lawsuit against Engoron, without giving any explanation for their decision.
The notice said that the lawsuit was dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning that it cannot be refiled.
Some legal experts speculated that Trump dropped his lawsuit because he realized that it had no chance of success and that it could backfire on him by drawing more attention to his fraud.
Others suggested that Trump wanted to avoid further litigation costs and risks, especially since he faces several other lawsuits and criminal investigations related to his business dealings.
Trump has not commented on why he dropped his lawsuit against Engoron.
His spokesperson said that he would pursue the lawsuit after he “has prevailed in dealing with the witch hunts against him,” adding that Engoron “will be held accountable for his unlawful words and actions.”