Letitia James Rebuts Trump Over His Latest Bogus Lawsuit

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Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit this week seeking to block both the continuation of New York state Attorney General Letitia James’s civil investigation into his business and her participation with the Manhattan-area District Attorney’s office in a criminal investigation of Trump-related issues. As summarized by The New York Times, Trump’s case claims that James has violated the former president’s rights to due process and free speech, in addition to his protection under the Fourth Amendment against overreaching government searches. In a response that she issued publicly, James promptly shut Trump’s claims down.

As she put it:

‘The Trump Organization has continually sought to delay our investigation into its business dealings and now Donald Trump and his namesake company have filed a lawsuit as an attempted collateral attack on that investigation. To be clear, neither Mr. Trump nor the Trump Organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions. Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone with the name Trump.’

The Times noted that Trump “faces a high bar in proving that Ms. James violated his rights, according to legal experts, some of whom predicted that Ms. James would prevail even if a judge concluded that her comments were inappropriate.” James is hoping to obtain testimony from Trump next month as part of her civil investigation into his business, although it’s certainly unclear how easy that such might actually be procured.

James is investigating issues including possible fraudulent adjustments by the Trump Organization to valuations of its assets. These numbers would’ve been meant to help the company with obtaining financial kickbacks, such as favorable loan terms and tax breaks, and in certain cases, the natures of valuations that the ex-president’s business has put forward have been eye-catching. In 2012, for instance, the Trump Organization presented a valuation to potential lenders for a particular Manhattan building of $527 million — and months later, the company claimed to tax authorities that the same building was worth $16.7 million. A higher number for prospective lenders could have made the company look better off than it was, while a lower one for tax authorities could have lowered related tax bills.