Judge temporarily halts trial in New York’s fraud lawsuit against Trump

A last-minute legal challenge by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers could disrupt a trial scheduled for next month in the New York attorney general’s business fraud lawsuit against the former president and his company.

A state appeals court judge on Thursday ordered a potential postponement of the non-jury trial, scheduled to start Oct. 2, after Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit accusing the trial judge, Arthur Engoron, of repeatedly abusing his authority.

Justice David Friedman, a judge on the state’s intermediate appellate court, granted an interim stay of the trial and ordered the full appeals court to consider the lawsuit on an expedited basis. The court indicated it would issue a decision the week of Sept. 25, meaning the trial could still start on schedule depending on how it rules.

The suit, which has not been made public, lists as defendant Attorney General Letitia James and Engoron, who is presiding over the attorney general’s case against Trump, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The suit was first reported by The Daily Beast.

The suit accuses Engoron of neglecting an earlier appeals court decision that Trump’s team says should shrink the scope of the case against him. Engoron may actually rule on motions related to that issue, which revolves around whether some of the alleged fraudulent statements in the case occurred outside a statute of limitations, on Sept. 22.