A Manhattan judge agreed Thursday to appoint an independent monitor to oversee former President Donald Trump’s sprawling real estate entity and restrict the Trump Organization’s ability to move assets, make deals and restructure its business.
The decision, handed down by New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, is a major victory for New York Attorney General Letitia James, who in September filed a lawsuit against Trump, his eldest children, his associates and the company, accusing them of widespread fraud. and deceiving banks for years about the value of assets, including Trump hotels.
James seeks $225 million and bars Trump from doing any real estate business in New York again. She had asked Engoron to impose restrictions on the organization in the meantime, arguing that the company had continued to engage in fraud and was trying to circumvent the consequences arising from the lawsuit, including by creating a new organization in the Delaware also named Trump Organization LLC. .
Engoron on Thursday blocked the Trump Organization from making trade deals without giving both the court and James’ office two weeks’ notice. The controller, who has not been named, will monitor the organization’s compliance.
The decision comes just a day after Trump filed a highly unusual lawsuit against James, describing his civil lawsuit against him as “a relentless, vicious, public and shameless crusade” against him with the “purpose of destroying him personally, financially and politically. .”
Trump’s lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Florida’s Palm Beach County, charged James with violating his right to privacy in the state, where he now lives. He is also seeking to block James from obtaining records from the trust that owns the Trump Organization. Trump has already sued once to stop James’ investigation, but was unsuccessful.
The 35-page lawsuit is laced with familiar Trump political rhetoric. He accuses James of setting his sights on Trump from the day he was elected president and claims his investigation was politically motivated.
James, the lawsuit says, “maliciously targeted him because he ran for and was elected the 45th President of the United States and, perhaps more importantly, is leading in every poll with substantial margins both in the Republican Party for the nomination and against any and all Democrats for the presidency itself.
The lawsuit also targets Engoron, who she said “did not rule in favor of President Trump and called him a bad guy.”
Experts have previously noted that the lawsuit constitutes an extraordinary legal action by asking a state court to intervene in an investigation by another state’s attorney general involving cases in that other state.
Trump has directly hinted that he plans to announce he will run for president again in 2024.