- New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, in a court filing, opposed President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss the state lawsuit against his charity.
- In August, Trump’s attorney sought to quash the lawsuit on the grounds of bias.
- Underwood wrote that Trump’s side didn’t come anywhere close to the necessary burden to prove bias against him.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood in a Thursday court filing opposed President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss the state lawsuit against him, his children, and his charity, the Trump Foundation.
Underwood said in the filing that Trump’s “arguments for dismissal are based on misstatements of the Attorney General’s claims or are otherwise without merit.”
Accused of being biased against the president, Underwood wrote that the lawsuit was filed because of alleged “extensive illegal conduct” the office had discovered, not because of any animosity toward Trump.
In August, Alan Futerfas, an attorney representing Trump,wrote in a motion to dismiss that former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman made it “his stated mission to ‘lead the resistance’ and attack Mr. Trump whenever possible.” He added that the attorney general’s office “turned a blind eye to serious and significant allegations of misconduct involving the Clinton Foundation.”
Futerfas wrote that the then-attorney general “actively stonewalled” Trump’s efforts to dissolve the charity.
Schneiderman opened the investigation into the foundation in 2016. After he resigned in May following allegations he physically abused women, Underwood completed the state’s investigation, culminating with the June lawsuit.
Futerfas wrote that Underwood continued to use “inflammatory rhetoric, stating publicly that she considers her battles with the President ‘the most important work (she) has ever done’ and has vowed that such ‘work will continue.'”
In her Thursday filing, Underwood wrote that “there can be no prejudice where the grounds for the relief sought are established by the substantial and incontrovertible evidence submitted in support of the Petition.”
Underwood wrote that Futerfas had misquoted her, insisted that she was talking about the job itself and not opposing Trump when she said this was “the most important work (she) has ever done.”
“In any case, were the Respondents to have adequately proven bias-a burden they have not come close to meeting-the proper remedy for bias is recusal of the biased person, not dismissal of the action,” she added.
The June lawsuit againstTrump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and the Trump Foundation alleges “a pattern of persistent illegal conduct” for more than a decade.
The lawsuit accused the foundation of engaging in illegal political coordination with Trump’s campaign, making multiple self-dealing transactions to benefit Trump and his business interests, and violating legal obligations for such nonprofits in New York.
Underwood is seeking $US2.8 million in restitution plus additional penalties, as well as the dissolving of the Trump Foundation under court supervision. The suit seeks to bar Trump from running a New York nonprofit for the next decade while instituting a one-year ban for his three eldest children.
Trump has already paid more than $US330,000 in reimbursements and penalty taxes, Underwood said in the suit.
Underwood also sent referral letters to the IRS and the Federal Election Commission identifying possible violations of federal law for the agencies to investigate.
When the lawsuit was first filed, Trump tweeted that Democrats were “doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $US18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $US19,200,000.”
“I won’t settle this case!” he said.
The Trump Foundation also attacked the attorney general’s office, accusing it of playing “politics at its very worst.” As evidence, the foundation cited the fact the lawsuit was made public on the same day as the release of the Department of Justice inspector general’s report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Underwood as the acting attorney general. She is the attorney general.
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