New York’s new attorney general is coming for Trump – and this time, he cannot pardon his way out of the threat of criminal prosecution.
New York Attorney General-elect Letitia James declared war on Trump during her first post-election interview, telling NBC News that she will investigate Trump’s real estate deals, the Trump Foundation, possible violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, and more.
NBC News reported this week that “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 told NBC News.
James, a Democrat, discussed several of the criminal probes the intends to pursue regarding Trump, his foundation and various businesses, and members of his family. “We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” said James.
As per NBC News, they include:
- Any potential illegalities involving Trump’s real estate holdings in New York, highlighting a New York Times investigation published in October into the president’s finances.
- The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian official.
- Examine government subsidies Trump received, which were also the subject of [The New York] Times investigative work.
- Whether he is in violation of the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution through his New York businesses.
- Continue to probe the Trump Foundation.
James Campaigned On A Promise To Investigate Trump And His Alleged Criminal Organization
James, New York’s first black Attorney General, campaigned on a promise to fight corruption wherever she might suspect it lies.
Her campaign website detailed those efforts, taking aim at Trump & Co. in the first paragraph on her “Fighting Corruption No Matter Where It Lies” page:
With the election of Donald Trump as President, we have seen what it looks like when shameless public corruption and “policy for sale” become a central part of the governing philosophy. Unfortunately, we don’t have to look all the way to Washington to find a culture of corruption. New York is one of the most politically corrupt states in the nation. Over the past decade an alarming number of elected officials have been convicted of crimes ranging from bribery to fraud to embezzlement. As our next Attorney General, I will root out corruption no matter where it lies — whether that be with state officials, members of the Trump Administration, or with the President himself.
That page concluded with a list of promises she would fulfill once elected to include 3 regarding Trump & Co.:
- Vigorously investigate Trump businesses that appear to be engaged in illegal conduct;
- Continue to litigate against Trump charities; and
- Fight to close the State’s double jeopardy loophole that could result in Presidential pardons rendering members of the Trump Administration immune from prosecution in New York State.
You can read her full plan to fight corruption by clicking here. That plan includes a full section on Trump titled: “Fighting Corruption in the Trump Administration.”
The first paragraph set the tone for the rest of her detailed plan to fight Trump corruption:
Trump started his career as a predatory landlord accused of racial discrimination and tenant harassment. He cheated workers out of their wages and exploited immigrant laborers. He graduated into a scammer, bilking New Yorkers out of thousands with his bogus university. In the course of his Presidential campaign, he and his associates may have committed violations of New York law ranging from money laundering to tax fraud. He and his family appear to continue to engage in practices that run afoul of constitutional safeguards intended to prevent self-dealing by the President of the United States. As Attorney General, Tish James will fight to ensure that Trump, his businesses, his associates, and his administration are not above the law.
James Campaigned On A Promise To Close New York’s Double Jeopardy Loophole
James also campaigned on changing New York’s existing double jeopardy laws which might be used by Trump to shield possible targets from criminal prosecution in the state.
As per her plan to fight corruption:
New York is the nexus of potential criminality swirling around Trump. Many of his businesses are here, his campaign was here, several of his associates currently under investigation or indictment operated out of our state. A provision of New York State law prohibits the prosecution of most crimes that have been the subject of a Presidential pardon. In the face of the impending convictions of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, Tish James called upon the Governor to convene a special session of the State Legislature to pass legislation that would close that loophole. She will continue fight for legislation to ensure that New York is ready to thwart corrupt attempts to pardon his associates into silence.
James elaborated on that effort this week. “I think within the first 100 days this bill will be passed,” she told NBC News, adding, “It is a priority because I have concerns with respect to the possibility that this administration might pardon some individuals who might face some criminal charges, but I do not want them to be immune from state charges.”