The state probe is a “baseless” and “malicious” fishing expedition intended to harass Trump and violates his constitutional rights, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Albany, New York. James had been seeking to depose Trump under oath on Jan. 7 as part of the
“For years, she has flagrantly abused her investigatory powers to target her political adversaries and advance her career,” Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said in the complaint. “Her relentless attacks on Donald J. Trump serve as a prime example.”
James, who suspended her run for governor of New York earlier this month, began the probe in 2019 to determine if Trump’s Manhattan-based company had been manipulating the value of key assets for tax and insurance purposes. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer
In a statement, James said the lawsuit follows multiple attempts by Trump and his company to delay the investigation, including by
“To be clear, neither Mr. Trump nor the Trump Organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions,” James said. “Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone with the name Trump.”
The suit includes pages of what Trump describes as evidence of James’s political motivations for investigating him, including an August 2018 tweet she posted before she took office, commenting on reports that Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, was seeking a plea deal.
“You & your cronies aren’t above the law. Every day we’re getting closer to justice,” James said in the tweet. “Just wait until I’m in the Attorney General’s office.”
In July, Manhattan District Attorney
The Trump Organization has long argued the investigations are politically motivated. In May, Trump issued a statement accusing James and Vance of being “possessed, at an unprecedented level, with destroying the political fortunes of President Donald J. Trump.”
A major focus of James’s probe has been the Trump Organization’s appraisal of Seven Springs, a 212-acre estate in Westchester County, New York. Her office has been trying to determine whether the company gave an accurate valuation for the property when it served as the basis for about $21.1 million in tax deductions for donating a conservation easement for the 2015 tax year.
Trump’s 40 Wall Street skyscraper and his Chicago hotel are among the other properties being scrutinized in the attorney general’s probe, which overlapped with the Manhattan district attorney’s broad investigation of possible bank, mortgage and tax fraud.
(Updates with comment from Letitia James)
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