Trump Is Out of Luck in New York Courts

Let’s hear it for New York Attorney General Letitia James! Today AG James filed suit in New York state court against Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and the Trump Organization.

James said her suit is seeking around $250 million in disgorgement from the defendants. She is also asking that the Trump Organization be barred from engaging in any commercial real estate acquisitions in New York for five years and Trump and his children be prohibited from serving as officers or directors in any corporation in the state. She is further seeking the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance, financial reporting and valuations at the Trump Organization as well as disclosures to lenders, insurers and tax authorities  for at least five years.

And Trump appears to have had a bad day in court yesterday, also. One of the ongoing puzzles of the Trump defense has been the choice of senior US district judge Raymond Dearie as one of their two special master candidates. The legal bobbleheads on MSNBC, Andrew Weissmann et al., have nothing but good things to say about Dearie. He’s a judge’s judge, one said yesterday. But then Axios reported that the Trumpers believe Dearie has a grudge against the FBI. Whatever. I suspect this is not going to work for them. In court yesterday Dearie let them know he’s not playing their games.

Robert Katzberg writes at Slate,

I and so many others have been unable to figure out why in the world the Trump legal team nominated Judge Dearie to serve as Mar-a-Lago special master in the first place. Yes, Judge Dearie is apparently a Republican, and yes, he was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan. But, really, Judge Dearie? Didn’t Team Trump know that the person they were choosing to uphold their dubious legal position is among the most respected members of the New York federal judiciary, admired for decades by prosecutors and defense counsel alike for his rational, ”by the book” approach?

Given Judge Dearie’s reputation for integrity and objectivity, it is no surprise that the Department of Justice quickly agreed to his appointment. After all, DOJ is appropriately convinced its legal position on the Mar-a-Lago seizure will be upheld by any fair minded, experienced judge, one like, say, Raymond Dearie. But from the Trump perspective, having lucked into the clearly sympathetic Judge Cannon to oversee the Florida seizure litigation, why would they let a model of judicial objectivity serve as special master to make key rulings in a matter in which they are, as a matter of law, flying by the seat of their pants? Why not just nominate another member of the Federalist Society with ties to the Republican right? Had they done so, the Department of Justice would have surely objected to both of their nominees, leaving it to Judge Cannon to make the selection. Given her rulings thus far, it would have been a good bet she would have chosen a Trump nominee, or at least selected a new special counsel of her choice who might have had sympathies consistent with her own.

Maybe someone on Trump’s team really wants him to lose.

BTW, I thought these Weissmann tweets were interesting —

I’m feeling a bit better. The antiviral pills seem to work well.