Legal experts and several Democrats were stunned by a state appellate court in New York last month that was perceived as a victory for former President Donald Trump and his family.
Ivanka Trump was dismissed as a co-defendant in a fraud lawsuit filed by Attorney General Letitia James against her family and their business. The court ruling on June 27 stated that specific allegations were too outdated to be included in the complaint.
The development has the potential to weaken the overall fraud case against the Trump family, the Daily Beast reported.
“The time has rung,” Cardozo Law School professor Alexander A. Reinert, who analyzed the appellate opinion, said, according to the report. “It gives an opportunity to the defendants to whittle down the claims.”
The recent ruling highlights the effectiveness of Trump’s signature stalling tactics, potentially raising doubts about the “continuing wrong doctrine” employed by James to argue that the Trump family continued to profit from falsehoods. However, the appellate court’s decision to dismiss Ivanka may have provided a shield for the rest of the family regarding alleged crimes committed prior to 2014, the report said.
“It’s puzzling,” Daniel L. Feldman, a former attorney at the AG’s office who is now teaching at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said. “There’s continuing harm and wrong. You could say that the fraud hasn’t ended, even though the misrepresentation or omission took place long ago.”
The former president, along with his two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, remain co-defendants, CNN reported in late June. James said in a September 2022 press release that the Trumps engaged in “years of financial fraud to obtain a host of economic benefits.”
“The lawsuit alleges that Donald Trump, with the help of his children Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and senior executives at the Trump Organization, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company, to satisfy continuing loan covenants, to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums, and to gain tax benefits, among other things,” the release said.
But the appeals court affirmed that Ivanka was not associated with the Trump Organization during the relevant timeframe after the company agreed to conditions set by New York.
“The record before us … indicates that defendant Ivanka Trump was no longer within the agreement’s definition of ‘Trump Organization’ by the date the tolling agreement was executed,” the court found.
“The allegations against defendant Ivanka Trump do not support any claims that accrued after February 6, 2016. Thus, all claims against her should have been dismissed as untimely,” the court added.
The 45th president, who is once again leading a growing field of 2024 GOP candidates, hailed the ruling and described James’ lawsuit as “election interference” in a Truth Social post.
In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for James’ office pledged to continue forward with the lawsuit.
“There is a mountain of evidence that shows Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for significant economic gain,” the rep told the network.