New York Attorney General Letitia James is coming for Donald Trump and the Trump Organization—on Tuesday, her office revealed that not only is it continuing to pursue a civil investigation into the Trump Organization, it has broadened its inquiry into a criminal probe. The net is tightening! It’s crime time, baby!
Her office is joining that of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance in looking into whether the Trump Organization committed not only civil violations—James was previously looking into whether the Trump Organization, as NPR put it, “improperly valued its assets for loan and tax purposes”—but crimes.
As Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for James, said in a statement, “We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan D.A.” Levy added, “We have no additional comment at this time.”
It’s likely that James’s inquiry falls along the same lines as the financial fraud investigation led by the Manhattan D.A., given the overlap in their probes. More, via the New York Times:
The long-running criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney has focused on an array of potential financial crimes at the Trump Organization, including tax and bank-related fraud. In particular, the prosecutors are examining whether Mr. Trump’s company inflated the value of his properties to obtain favorable loans and lowered the values to reduce taxes.
In the collaboration, two assistant attorneys general from Ms. James’s office are joining the district attorney’s team, people with knowledge of the matter said.
But her office will not be conducting its own independent criminal investigation. She is continuing her civil inquiry, which focuses on some of the same strands as the district attorney’s sweeping criminal inquiry. Both offices have been investigating some of the same Trump properties, including his Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County.
According to NPR, if the evidence both offices gather is strong enough, “an official complaint will likely be filed by the end of the year.” Finally, something to look forward to!