Trump accused New York state's attorney of political persecution
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and his family on Tuesday called a civil investigation by the New York State Attorney’s Office into their business practices a “selective prosecution,” arguing that an email sent by the New York State Attorney General to her supporters proves the investigation is politically motivated.
The Trump family disagrees with state Attorney General Letitia James’ demands to force Trump and his two adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to testify about whether they misrepresented the value of their business assets for financial gain.
No criminal charges have been filed against Donald Trump or his children. The civil investigation that James has been pursuing against the Trumps for three years has nothing to do with the criminal investigation the new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has taken up against the Trump Organization.
Trump’s attorneys said that James, as a member of the Democratic Party, was harassing the former president because of his personal “dislike of his speeches and political views” and trying to “thwart his political ambitions.” Trump, who left office last year, has not ruled out running for president again in 2024. She also accused Trump of being the one behind the Capitol storming that took place on January 6, 2021.
James herself is running for re-election as New York attorney general this November. Trump’s attorneys cited an email that James’ campaign sent to her supporters on Jan. 9. It came after the attorney general subpoenaed Trump and his children. The letter said Trump “could win” in 2024.
Trump’s attorneys said the contents of the letter were direct evidence of selective prosecution, calling James’ message “extraordinary, unprecedented and frankly horrifying.”
In a statement, James called the attorneys’ statements a “baseless attempt” by Trump to “evade responsibility.”
“In the three years that this investigation has been ongoing, they have never once questioned our legal authority until Donald Trump himself was subpoenaed to testify,” James said. – “As with any investigation, we will continue to find out the facts wherever they lead us.
James is looking into whether the Trumps inflated the value of their real estate to get bank loans and understated its value to reduce their tax bills. For example, she said, Trump’s annual financial report says the apartment he owns in New York’s Trump Tower is 30,000 square feet, though in reality the apartment is only a third of the square footage listed on his tax return.