NY AG Letitia James Publicly Warns Trump Family


New York state Attorney General Letitia James (D) is fighting back against a lawsuit from former President Donald Trump that is meant to shut down her long-running civil investigation of the Trump business and bar her from participation in a separate criminal investigation into the Trump company that culminated last year in tax evasion charges. Trump has sought to characterize James’s investigation as politically motivated, and in legally fighting the probe, he’s seeking a declaration that his Constitutional rights, including the right to free speech, have been violated. James’s office asserted in a recent court filing that “snippets of press releases, tweets, and public appearances” showing comments targeting Trump ”do not support a plausible inference that the investigation lacks any objective, reasonable basis.”

In other words, just because James has expressed opposition to Trump, that doesn’t mean that the probe is automatically baseless. As James subsequently laid it out on Twitter:

‘Frivolous lawsuits and baseless attacks by Donald Trump aren’t going to stop us from continuing our legal investigation. No one is above the law.’

James’s civil investigation has focused on issues including the Trump company’s frequent and apparently fraudulent adjustments to valuations of its assets. These adjustments were meant to obtain financial benefits for the company, such as favorable loan terms and tax breaks. Just recently, James’s team stated in a court document that they’d uncovered evidence confirming that such a scenario unfolded, although the Attorney General has indicated that whether or not she’ll be bringing a lawsuit over the situation remains an open question. Since it’s a civil investigation, criminal charges aren’t a potential outcome — instead, lawsuits lead the way. James has subpoenaed Trump, along with two of his adult children, Ivanka and Donald Jr., and it’s after James went down this path that Trump launched his legal challenge to the investigation. Eric Trump already spoke with investigators, although it’s unclear how much that they got from him.

James is seeking the dismissal of Trump’s lawsuit targeting her investigation. Trump has claimed that testimony that is provided as part of the civil probe could be used against his side in the separate criminal investigation, which remains ongoing despite the already unveiled tax-related criminal charges. Among other arguments, James added in response to Trump’s suit that there’s “no role for a federal court to intervene in an investigation that’s been overseen in part by a state court judge,” as summarized by the Associated Press. (Trump filed his lawsuit with a New York federal court.) Meanwhile, Trump is also facing a criminal investigation in Georgia, where Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating his efforts to overturn the election outcome in the state, where Biden won. Willis recently scored approval from local judges for a special grand jury to be set up for her probe; the entity will be posed to deal with issues like sending out subpoenas for witnesses.