(JustPatriots.com)- Donald Trump has suffered his first defeat in his legal conflict with Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, over her $250 million fraud case against him. He’s been formally served with the 220-page complaint after three weeks and a court order.
James said through a court statement on Thursday that Trump was eventually served via his attorney, Alina Habba, “by delivering in electronic mail a message with a secure cloud link to pdf attachments of all the papers.”
The complaint demands a quarter-billion dollars in fines and the Trumps’ exclusion from doing business in New York. It accuses the Trump Organization of a decade-long history of falsely inflating the company’s value.
Since the lawsuit was filed three weeks ago, on September 21, the attorneys representing Trump and his son Eric, an executive vice president at his father’s business, have avoided acknowledgment of the papers.
In a court filing last week, the attorney general’s office said that Habba and Clifford Robert, a lawyer representing Eric Trump, never responded to emails sent by her that day asking for confirmation that they were the proper people to receive service.
All of the other defendants in the lawsuit, including Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., had, in the meanwhile, promptly accepted employment.
Despite Habba and Robert having filed “notices of presence” to the court in late September, announcing their status as the case’s lawyers of record, Donald and Eric Trump remained quiet.
James’ office charged Trump’s side with “gamesmanship” after what seemed to be a runaround. She requested a court order last week to send the paperwork to Habba and Robert through email and be done with it.
The Manhattan judge in charge of the lawsuit immediately agreed, finding on Thursday that serving both Trumps with the documents through email to their respective attorneys would be sufficient. According to their Monday filing, James sent those emails on the same day.
The judge, Arthur Engoron of the New York Supreme Court, scheduled the next round of oral arguments on October 31.
Both parties will contest the attorney general’s assertion that the Trump Organization is so replete with continuing fraud that a court must immediately appoint and supervise an independent financial monitor.
Engoron, the judge who in April ruled Trump in contempt of court for not completely complying with the attorney general’s subpoenas in the two years before her bringing suit, is the subject of another early controversy.
Habba has requested that the case be moved from Engoron’s courtroom to any judge in Manhattan’s commercial division responsible for handling complicated business issues.