N.Y. Supreme Court rules against Trump, won't dismiss foundation suit

Judge rejects bias claim won't toss Donald Trump's charity lawsuit

Judge rejects bias claim won't toss Donald Trump's charity lawsuit

The decision issued Friday by Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the state supreme court in Manhattan is a rebuke to the Republican president, whose lawyer had accused Attorney General Barbara Underwood, a Democrat, of "pervasive bias" for suing.

A NY judge is rejecting a bid by President Donald Trump's lawyers to dismiss a state lawsuit alleging he ran his charitable foundation without regard for the law.

And, Scarpulla said, it is in line with the US Supreme Court's 1997 ruling concerning President Bill Clinton in response to Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit.

In asking for the case to be thrown out, Futerfas argued last month that the court lacked proper jurisdiction, that the attorney general's office was biased against the president and that any mistakes made at the president's charity were too minor to merit such a case, among other reasons. It alleges that they violated federal and state charities law with a "persistent" pattern of conduct that included unlawful coordination with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

The suit seeks $2.8 million in restitution, the foundation's disbandment and a 10-year ban on Trump running any charities. She also denied claims of bias. Given the seriousness of the allegations, she said, there was no basis for finding that "animus and bias were the sole motivating factors" for the lawsuit.

"If a NY appeals court agrees with the president in the Zervos case, Scarpulla wrote, "then I must dismiss the petition against Mr. Trump" in this case".

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Underwood was appointed to replace Schneiderman in May, when he resigned amid allegations that he physically abused women he dated. "Instead, it is my responsibility to review the petition to see if it has legal and factual support and if it does, to resolve it".

The Trump Foundation has yet to comment on the Friday decision, but in the past called the lawsuit "politics at its very worst" and touted its charitable achievements.

Underwood welcomed the ruling, saying in a statement: "The Trump Foundation functioned as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump's business and political interests".

The president's attorneys argued that the lawsuit was invalid, saying that state courts did not have jurisdiction over the USA president, according to The Hill.

The judge overseeing the Zervos case ruled that presidents can be sued in state court.

As she did in court in October, the judge noted that Trump has appealed the Zervos decision, and if the appeals court rules in his favor, the attorney general's office would likely need to amend its lawsuit to remove Trump himself as a defendant.

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