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NY Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Trump Family Charity To Proceed

November 24, 2018 - 11:41 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A New York State judge has ruled against a motion by President Donald Trump to throw out a case against his charities.

It’s the start of what could be a long and decisive legal battle.

The State of New York says a charity Trump ran before he was president was corrupt, political and without regard to law. Lawyers for the president say that’s not true and that, in any case, Trump can’t be tried right now.  

CBS News legal analyst and NYU professor Thane Rosenbaum tells WCBS 880 that Trump and his lawyers took the position that a sitting president is immune from prosecution.

But in a ruling posted Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla rejected Trump’s position that the lawsuit was politically motivated and said the case can move forward.

“He’s not immune from prosecution when the lawsuit is dealing with his unofficial capacities, his unofficial duties at a time that took place before he became president,” Rosenbaum said.

In her ruling, Scarpulla said there’s no basis for finding that “animus and bias were the sole motivating factors'” for New York state Attorney General Barbara Underwood's lawsuit.

Underwood alleges the Trump Foundation became a wing of Trump’s campaign, and she wants him barred for 10 years from running any charities.

The case will most certainly be appealed, according to Rosenbaum.

And if the case does get to the Supreme Court, newly appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh is on record saying presidents should not be bothered with legal matters while in office.