The newly-elected Attorney General for the State of New York has some big plans. And they involve the President of the United States, his children, and his business.
After being elected on November 6, Letitia James promised she would begin large-scale investigations of “President Donald Trump, his family and anyone in his circle who may have violated the law.” She said the investigations and prosecutions of Trump criminal conduct would be a top priority when she starts her new job next month.
“We will use every area of the law to investigate and prosecute President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” James told NBC News yesterday.
In the first in-depth interview since she was elected James gave more details about the criminal probes she will pursue where the targets are the president, his businesses and his family members.
For example, she said she will continue criminal investigations in the following areas:
- Illegalities involving Trump’s real estate holdings in New York, as described in the October New York Times investigation into the Trump family finances.
- The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian official.
- Possibly illegal government subsidies Trump received, which were also the subject of New York Times investigative work.
- Whether he is in violation of the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution through his New York businesses.
- Illegalities in the operation of the Trump Foundation where Trump and his children are the trustees.
“We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” said James.
James also said she will work to pass a bill to change New York’s double jeopardy laws. James told NBC News she wants to be able to pursue state charges against anyone the president were to pardon over federal charges if their crimes took place in New York.
“I think within the first 100 days this bill will be passed,” James said, 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.”
She’s also getting help from former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch who is part of her transition team. Lynch will help her identify the best people to hire for her office since she wants to bring in experts for Trump-related investigations.
Many of the crimes committed by Trump, his children, and his business took place in the state of New York, and thus they are all within the jurisdiction of James’ office. Once she gets involved in the investigations and ultimate prosecutions of Trump crimes she will become very well known, and also very powerful.
“Taking on President Trump and looking at all of the violations of law I think is no match to what I have seen in my lifetime,” James said.