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“Today, I filed a lawsuit in Florida State Circuit Court against the corrupt Attorney General of New York State, Letitia ‘Peekaboo’ James,” Donald Trump vomited into the ether last night on his low-rent Twitter knock-off social media site. And if you think that nickname sounds suspiciously like a racial slur, you’re not alone!

“Crooked and highly partisan James now thinks it is the business of the State of New York to go after my revocable trust and pry into my private estate plan, only to look for ways to recklessly injure me, my family, my businesses, and my tens of millions of supporters,” he babbled, promising to sue the New York AG because “We have to stand up for our Country, fight against illegal persecution, and Make America Great Again!”

Well, that guy talks a lot of shit, but this time he was actually telling the truth! He really did march into a Florida state court and file a lawsuit against the Attorney General of the state of New York. You know, to protect his tens of millions of supporters!

And however batshit that sounds, the reality is worse.

Extraordinary wrongdoing requires extraordinary relief. As set forth below, James has repeatedly abused her position as Attorney General for the State of New York to pursue a relentless, pernicious, public, and unapologetic crusade against President Trump, a resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, with the stated goal of destroying him personally, financially, and politically. Suffice it to say that these actions are contrary to both the laws of New York and Florida.

That’s right, he’s suing Tish James “individually and in her official capacity” for filing a civil enforcement action in New York alleging that he systematically lied about the value of his assets over decades. Wait ’til the courts in New York hear about this gross assault on their laws!

The preliminary statement is seven pages of inchoate rambling about the AG’s supposed “bias,” which will be familiar to the readers of this column from the many times Trump belched the same noxious fumes in the direction of the New York Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals, and the Northern District of New York.

It’s also larded so much over-the-top braggadocio that one suspects the former president drafted it himself:

As a private company, nobody knew very much about the great business that then–businessman Donald Trump had built but now it is being revealed by James and much to her chagrin. The continuing witch hunt that has haunted and targeted Donald Trump since he came down the “golden escalator” at Trump Tower in June of 2015 continues. President Trump built a great and prosperous company but a company nevertheless that must be carefully, delicately, yet powerfully managed, and the appointment of a political monitor or the interference by a political hack like James who is using this lawsuit for political gain, would bring great harm to the company, the brand, the employees and its overall reputation.

In fact, he’s represented by Timothy W. Weber, Jeremy D. Bailie and R. Quincy Bird, members of a St. Petersburg-based law firm which signed the latest of Trump’s many legal threats to the Pulitzer board for refusing to revoke prizes awarded in 2018 to the New York Times and Washington Post for their coverage of Russian election interference.

And how are these legal eagles justifying personal jurisdiction over the Attorney General of a sovereign state? Well! The NYAG is seeking copies of Trump’s revocable trust, which was drafted in Florida and which controls many of his assets located in the Sunshine State. Or, in the alternative, “this Court has personal jurisdiction over James based on the tortious acts she committed within this state and the scope of authority she seeks to exert over real property and other Trust assets satisfy the minimum contacts requirements of due process.”

Sure, why not.

The suit accuses James of violating Trump’s privacy under the Florida constitution and interfering with his rights as grantor and beneficiary of the trust. It seeks to enjoin James from “requesting, demanding, obtaining, possessing, or disclosing a copy of his revocable trust or the terms thereof, or from exercising any authority or oversight or restraint on his revocable trust, as well as declaratory relief in the form of a declaration declaring that James has no jurisdiction over the assets of a Florida revocable trust and no authority to supplant or control the powers of the trustee of such a trust.”

Essentially he’s asking the Florida court to enjoin the New York Attorney General and the New York Supreme Court from ordering Trump to hand over a copy of his trust. Which might give a prudent jurist pause, but, Trump’s illustrious lawyers assure the court, it’s totally fine because the presiding judge in New York, Justice Arthur Engoron “made not a single ruling in favor of President Trump” and “has also demonstrated extreme bias against President Trump.” And if Justice Engoron points out that he’s not bound by an order from some swamp jurist 1,200 miles away, then maybe the Florida judge will get on a plane and punch him right in the nose!

None of which is helpful to Trump’s other lawyers who appeared before Justice Engoron today to argue against the preliminary injunction the AG seeks giving her office greater control of the company. In fact, the New York Times reports that the “normal” lawyers staged an “intervention” to stop Trump filing this garbage fire invitation to a malpractice claim. But they were overruled by Trump’s consigliere Boris Epshteyn, who ran point on the fake electors scheme, recently had his phone seized by the FBI, and was reportedly the impetus behind suggesting special master Judge Raymond Dearie on the mistaken belief that the senior jurist was somehow an enemy of the DOJ.

All of which is to say that this lawsuit is perhaps the stupidest one yet. And as someone who reads everything Donald Trump files, let me assure you, the competition is stiff.

Complaint
Trump Files a Suit Against N.Y.’s Attorney General, and Against Advice [NYT]

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

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