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N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James asks court to sanction Trump, his eldest sons and attorneys

New York Attorney General Letitia James is asking the state Supreme Court to sanction former President Donald Trump, his sons Eric and Don Jr., others related to the family business and Trump’s attorneys for a total of $20,000.

Court records filed Tuesday showed that James’ office wants to sanction them because they’ve continued to raise “previously-rejected arguments” in their motions. The attorney general called them “frivolous and sanctionable” because “sophisticated defense counsel should have known better.”

The attorney general’s office said in the filing that there are five instances where previously rejected arguments by the court have been reused by Trump attorneys or where Trump attorneys made arguments based on a lack of legal or factual basis. 

This pertains to James’ ongoing lawsuit in which she alleges there were persistent efforts by Trump, his two eldest sons and others to routinely present false financial information to lenders, insurance companies, and others to benefit the former president’s businesses and his own personal benefit. 

Despite efforts by Trump and his lawyers to have the case dismissed and to delay proceedings, a trial in the civil suit is set to begin on Oct. 2.

The court document filed Tuesday noted that, in November 2022, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the case and the court rejected their arguments for a second time. James’ office said that in rejecting the arguments again, the court said they “were borderline frivolous even the first time defendants made them,” and observed that reading the defendants’ brief “was, to quote the baseball saga Lawrence Peter (‘Yogi’) Berra, ‘Deja vu all over again.'”

James’ office states that the court has the discretion to impose financial sanctions on any party or lawyer in a civil action or proceedings who engages in “frivolous conduct.”

NBC News has reached out to Trump’s attorneys for comment.

James first brought the case against Trump in September 2022, alleging that the former president and his older sons engaged in efforts to inflate Trump’s personal net worth to attract favorable loan agreements. James alleges that there were more than 200 instances of fraud over a 10-year period.

The attorney general is seeking about $250 million in penalties and to permanently bar the Trump family from serving as officers of New York companies and prevent Trump from striking commercial real estate deals in the state for five years.

Separately, Trump faces criminal charges in four different cases — one in New York by the Manhattan district attorney, two brought by the Department of Justice and one case in Fulton County, Georgia.

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