New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, speaks during a news conference, to announce criminal justice reform in New York City, May 21, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump filed a federal lawsuit Monday in an effort to block New York state Attorney General Letitia James from continuing to investigate his business.
James is conducting a civil probe of the Trump Organization, focusing on where the company has misstated the value of real estate assets to obtain favorable loan and insurance rates, while lowering its tax obligations.
That investigation is mirrored by a criminal investigation being conducted by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Iowa States Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, October 9, 2021.
Rachel Mummey | Reuters
Trump, who is a Republican, claims that both Vance and James, who are Democrats, are investigating him for political reasons, and has called the probes “witch hunts.”
The suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, which first was reported by The New York Times, argues that the investigation violates Trump’s constitutional rights.
It alleges that James’ “mission is guided solely by political animus and a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen who she views as a political opponent.”
The suit paints Trump, his family and his business as victims of a “bitter crusade” by James, who has “tirelessly bombarded” them with “unwarranted” subpoenas.
Multiple pages of the 30-page complaint are devoted to James’ tweets and past criticisms of the Trump administration.
Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba, in a written statement said, “Letitia James targets President Trump with a callous disregard for the ethical and moral obligations she swore to abide by when she became Attorney General.”
“She has short changed the state by commencing this partisan investigation and has forever tarnished the sanctity of her office,” Habba said. “By filing this lawsuit, we intend to not only hold her accountable for her blatant constitutional violations, but to stop her bitter crusade to punish her political opponent in its tracks.”
A spokesman for James did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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