May 19, 2021 – New York State Attorney General Letitia James, a prominent and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump who claimed if elected she would persecute him, appears to be making good on that promise. She had already been probing the Trump Organization in a civil capacity. According to her spokesperson, that investigation is now a “criminal investigation.”
CNBC reports on the announcement:
James’ spokesman implied that her probe is being done in conjunction with the ongoing criminal investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
The two-year-old civil investigation by James was eyeing allegations that the Trump Organization had manipulated the stated value of real estate assets in order to lower their tax liability and to receive more favorable terms for loans and insurance.
Vance’s office has been criminally investigating those same allegations, which first were made in congressional testimony by Michael Cohen, who served for years as Trump’s personal lawyer. Vance’s probe also is focused on other issues as well.
‘We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature,’ said James’ spokesman, Fabien Levy.
‘We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment at this time,’ Levy said.
In late 2019, James scored a legal victory against Trump when a judge ordered him to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit by the attorney general’s office alleging that he had misused his Trump Foundation, a charity, to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign, along with other unlawful activity for more than a decade.
The Trump Foundation previously had agreed in December 2018 to dissolve and to donate its remaining funds to charity as the AG’s probe into the foundation continued.
CNBC has reached out to request comment from Trump’s spokesman, and from the Trump Organization, about the current AG’s investigation becoming criminal in nature.
Trump, who is a Republican, previously has called both investigations witch hunts by two Democratic officials.
James last August filed an ultimately successful court action that forced Trump’s son, Eric Trump, to answer questions as part of her investigation. Eric Trump runs the Trump Organization with his brother, Donald Trump Jr. – CNBC
Due to Jones’ prior statements about President Trump, it is hard to see this as anything but political in nature.
Before she was even elected, she was on camera promising that she would persecute Trump:
— Buddahfan (@Buddahfan) December 12, 2018
Her exact words were:
Reporter: What would you say to people who say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to bother to register to vote because my voice doesn’t make a difference.” Or, “I’m just one person.”
Letitia James: “I say one name. Donald Trump. That should motivate you. Get off your ass and vote.
Reporter: Will you sue him for us?
Letitia James: Oh, we’re definitely going to sue him. We’re going to be a real pain in the ass. He’s going to know my name personally.
New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James says she plans to launch sweeping investigations into President Donald Trump, his family and ‘anyone’ in his circle who may have violated the law once she settles into her new job next month.
‘We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,’ James, a Democrat, told NBC News in her first extensive interview since she was elected last month. – Gateway Pundit
This is commonly called a “fishing expedition,” which is not supposed to happen in America because of our due process protections. You cannot just go looking in search of a crime, before you can investigate someone, you need to have probable cause.
They appear to be using Trump’s tax returns as a pretext for their sweeping investigations which appear trivial and have gone on for years now, Politico reports:
The New York state attorney general’s examination of the Trump Organization is now also a criminal investigation, a spokesperson for the attorney general said on Tuesday night.
The investigation is ‘no longer purely civil in nature,’ Fabien Levy, the spokesperson for New York Attorney General Letitia James, confirmed to POLITICO by email. ‘We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan D.A. We have no additional comment at this time.’
James’ office is undertaking a sweeping probe of former President Donald Trump and his family over allegedly misstating property values to get tax benefits. In February, the Supreme Court paved the way for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s team to get eight years of Trump’s tax returns and financial records as a part of Vance’s criminal probe into potential tax, insurance and bank fraud.
The new development appears to expand the potential liability for Trump, who is now facing separate criminal probes from prosecutors in New York, and also suggests collaboration in the two investigations.
James’ inquiry started in 2019 after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said in a congressional hearing that Trump had inflated the value of assets to banks to get better loans and insurance, while undervaluing them to cut his tax liability. Vance’s investigation has also appeared to be focused on allegations from Cohen, who has also claimed Trump committed fraud while dealing with insurance companies, which Trump and the Trump Organization have denied.
James’ office has focused on Trump properties that include the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and 40 Wall Street in New York City.
James pledged to hold Trump accountable, and she spearheaded or joined into dozens of efforts to challenge the Trump administration on a number of issues when Trump was in office. Last fall, a judgeordered the former president’s son Eric Trump to answer questions under oath as part of the investigation.
‘The court’s order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump,’ James said in a statement at the time.
Jen Weisselberg, former daughter-in-law of Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has said she is cooperating with both probes.
Both James and Vance are Democrats. Trump has previously called the investigations a politically motivated ‘witch hunt.’
Vance is stepping down Dec. 31, as he said in March that he won’t be running for reelection. Vance’s probe has also scrutinized possible hush-money payments to women for Trump.
A spokesperson for Vance’s office declined to comment Tuesday night.
The New York Times has reported that Trump has paid little in taxes, including just $750 in federal taxes in 2017, a report which Trump called ‘fake news.’ Their reporting also indicated he has gotten some hefty refunds.
Law enforcement officials in Florida have been preparing for the scenario in which Vance could potentially indict Trump while he’s at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, sources have previously told POLITICO.
Potential extradition of Trump could be complicated, as Florida law allows Gov. Ron DeSantis, a prominent Trump ally, the ability to step in and investigate if anyone indicted ‘ought to be surrendered’ for an out-of-state indictment. If Trump were at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., when indicted, it would likely be different, as the state has laws similar to Florida’s on extradition but also has a Democratic governor. – Politico
Letitia James’ words about “no one being above the law” do not ring true however. Members of Congress, and there were many, who engaged in insider trading and pocketed millions never faced any consequences. Hunter Biden has faced no consequences. The Clinton Foundation, which has lost almost all its income since Mrs. Clinton left office, clearly was a pay-for-play scheme. The FBI agents who lied to FISA courts in order to get illegal warrants to spy on the Trump campaign have faced no legal consequences. So clearly Democrats are above the law. No one at the IRS was held accountable for targeting members of the Tea Party, and the list goes on.
Statement by Donald J. Trump on the Investigation:
I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 ½ years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has “informed” my organization that their “investigation” is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a “criminal” investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here. The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me. She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into “every aspect” of my real estate dealings. She swore that she would “definitely sue” me. She boasted on video that she would be, and I quote, “a real pain in the ass.” She declared, “just wait until I’m in the Attorney General’s office,” and, ”I’ve got my eyes on Trump Tower.” She also promised that, if elected, she would “join with law enforcement and other Attorney Generals across this nation in removing this President from office,” and, “It’s important that everyone understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end.”
The Attorney General made each of these statements, not after having had an opportunity to actually look at the facts, but BEFORE she was even elected, BEFORE she had seen even a shred of evidence. This is something that happens in failed third world countries, not the United States. If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution, then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy.
Likewise, the District Attorney’s office has been going after me for years based on a lying, discredited low life, who was not listened to or given credibility by other prosecutorial offices, and sentenced to 3 years in prison for lying and other events unrelated to me.
These investigations have also been going on for years with members and associates of the Trump Organization being viciously attacked, harassed, and threatened, in order to say anything bad about the 45th President of the United States. This would include having to make up false stories. Numerous documents, all prepared by large and prestigious law and accounting firms, have been examined, and many hours of testimony have been taken from many people, some of whom I have not seen in years.
These Democrat offices are consumed with this political and partisan Witch Hunt at a time when crime is up big in New York City, shootings are up 97%, murders are up 45%, a rate not seen in 40 years, drugs and criminals are pouring into our Country in record numbers from our now unprotected Southern Border, and people are fleeing New York for other much safer locations to live.
But the District Attorney and Attorney General are possessed, at an unprecedented level, with destroying the political fortunes of President Donald J. Trump and the almost 75 million people who voted for him, by far the highest number ever received by a sitting President.
That is what these investigations are all about—a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of the United States. Working in conjunction with Washington, these Democrats want to silence and cancel millions of voters because they don’t want “Trump” to run again.
As people are being killed on the sidewalks of New York at an unprecedented rate, as drugs and crime of all kinds are flowing through New York City at record levels, with absolutely nothing being done about it, all they care about is taking down Trump.
Our movement, which started with the Great Election Win of 2016, is perhaps the biggest and most powerful in the history of our Country. But the Democrats want to cancel the Make America Great Again movement, not by Making America First, but by Making America Last.
No President has been treated the way I have. With all of the crime and corruption you read about with others, nothing happens, they only go after Donald Trump. After prosecutorial efforts the likes of which nobody has ever seen before, they failed to stop me in Washington, so they turned it over to New York to do their dirty work.
This is what I have been going through for years. It’s a very sad and dangerous tale for our Country, but it is what it is, and we will overcome together. I have built a great company, employed thousands of people, and all I do is get unfairly attacked and abused by a corrupt political system.
It would be so wonderful if the effort used against President Donald J. Trump, who lowered taxes and regulations, rebuilt our military, took care of our Veterans, created Space Force, fixed our border, produced our vaccine in record-setting time (years ahead of what was anticipated), and made our Country great and respected again, and so much more, would be focused on the ever more dangerous sidewalks and streets of New York.
If these prosecutors focused on real issues, crime would be obliterated, and New York would be great and free again!
This story is still developing, please check back for updates.