No more delays in civil fraud cases

No more delays in civil fraud cases

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s attorney general urged a state judge to reject Donald Trump’s bid to delay his civil fraud case against him, saying the former U.S. president could use his 2024 White House run as an excuse for further delays.

In a court filing Wednesday night, Attorney General Leticia James said her office had provided Trump and other defendants with a “vast amount” of material, including 1.7 million documents and transcripts of 56 witness interviews.

He said it rejected their request for an additional six months to gather evidence to adequately defend themselves at the trial, now scheduled for October 2, and accused them of being slow to conduct their own witness statements.

“The record that the defendants have and are compiling is sufficient to afford them due process and to prevent the trial from becoming a surprise game,” James said.

“When the calendar turns to 2024, Donald J. Trump will be in the middle of campaigning for president,” he added. “Defendants have used his campaign as a reason for delay in both 2016 and 2020. There is no reason to believe 2024 will be any different.”

Lawyers for the accused did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.

Arthur Ngoron, the judge who oversees the case, scheduled a hearing for March 21 to consider the trial schedule.

James sued Trump, his three adult children, the Trump Organization and others last September after a three-year investigation.

The $250 million lawsuit concerns an alleged decades-long scheme to manipulate the appraisals of more than 200 properties and Trump’s net worth to win better terms from banks and insurers.

Trump, a Republican, has called the James case a partisan witch hunt. James is a Democrat.

The case is separate from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal investigation into porn star Stormy Daniels’ silence about her alleged affair with Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Mark Potter)

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