Trump sued last year alleging that New York Attorney General Letitia James violated his constitutional rights by investigating him in bad faith. Trump based her argument on statements James made during his campaign for attorney general. He asked to block the investigation or force the recusal of James.
In dismissing the lawsuit, Sannes wrote: “In sum, the Court finds that Plaintiffs could have advanced the claims and sought the relief they seek in the federal action in the New York proceeding.”
Sannes added that allowing the lawsuit to proceed would interfere with ongoing state court actions, including New York Judge Arthur Engoron’s order holding Trump in civil contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena.
“Awarding the relief plaintiffs seek would have the practical effect of interfering with the contempt finding in the New York proceeding and risks rendering that order ‘futile,'” the judge wrote.
Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, has vowed to appeal.
“There is no question that we will appeal this decision,” Habba said in a statement. “If Ms. James’s egregious conduct and harassment investigation fail to meet the bad faith exception to [the law]so I can’t imagine a scenario that would.”
James and Trump have had numerous run-ins in New York state court over subpoenas stemming from the civil investigation into the accuracy of the Trump Organization’s financial statements.
Sannes’ ruling is the latest setback for Trump in his effort to stop or delay the investigation, which is nearing completion.
The federal judge also said she found no evidence that the litigation to support the execution of the citations was retaliatory, or that anyone acted in “bad faith.” She said the investigation has a “legitimate factual predicate.”
James says his investigation into the Trump Organization will continue “undeterred.”
“Time and time again, the courts have made clear that Donald J. Trump’s baseless legal challenges cannot stop our legal investigation into his financial dealings and those of the Trump Organization,” James said in a statement.
This story has been updated with additional details on Friday.