- NY’s Attorney General sued Trump, his family and his business in September over an alleged pattern of fraud.
- In a response late Thursday, the defendants repeatedly claimed the Trump Organization can’t be sued.
- ‘Trump Organization’ is branding shorthand, not a legal entity, they said repeatedly in 5,000 pages of response.
Donald Trump, his real-estate company and his three eldest children have filed an extraordinary, nose-thumbing response to the $250 million fraud lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James in September, stating that “Trump Organization” is branding shorthand — not a legal entity — so it can’t be sued.
“To the extent a response is required, Defendant specifically denies the definitions of “Trump Organization” and “Defendants,” reads Donald Trump’s response to the lawsuit, one of 16 answers filed late Thursday night.
“While the shorthand “Trump Organization” is utilized by Defendants for branding and business purposes, no entity as such exists for legal purposes,” Donald Trump’s response continues, using language that is repeated throughout his 300-page filing and throughout the similarly-lengthy 15 filings of his fellow defendants.
The New York lawsuit names Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, former company CFO Allen Weisselberg, its former payroll executive Jeffrey McConney, and entities under the Trump Organization umbrella.
The nearly 5,000 pages of answers were filed just before midnight New York time to meet a Thursday deadline for responding to James’ sweeping lawsuit alleging the former president engaged in a decade-long pattern of lying about his worth on financial documents.
The lawsuit seeks to permanently ban Donald Trump, his three eldest children, and his real-estate and golf-resort company from doing business in New York, where the business is headquartered and where the bulk of his commercial properties are located.
A trial has been set for October in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan. Trump lawyer Alina Habba, who filed the 16 responses, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has been expected to fight hard against the attorney general’s aggressive attack on his Manhattan-based business empire. The suit seeks to cripple the company and would bar the Trump family from selling, collecting rent, or even borrowing money in New York.
James alleges that Trump routinely lied about his assets in order to win favorable terms — and save hundreds of millions of dollars — from bankers, insurers, and tax authorities.
This is a breaking story. Please check back for developments.