New York’s incoming attorney general Letitia James is planning a massive investigation into President Donald Trump, his family and anyone in his inner circle who might have broken the law, she told NBC News this week.
“We’ll use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” James told the network in her first extensive interview since she was voted into office in November.
“We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” she added.
Among the Trump-related probes she intends to pursue once she settles into her new gig next month are the Trump Tower meeting with a Russian officials in June 2016, a review of federal subsidies the president received and whether he’s in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause through his New York businesses, among other things.
The 60-year-old Democrat ran her campaign on the promise she’d pass a bill amending New York’s double jeopardy laws, ensuring the state can press charges against anyone Trump might pardon over federal charges whose alleged crimes were committed in the Empire State.
“I think within the first 100 days this bill will be passed,” James said.”It’s 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 don’t want them to be immune from state charges.”
The attorney general-elect acknowledged investigating the president might be her toughest task yet. New York is home to Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as his re-election campaign. It’s also the headquarter of the president’s namesake business and the site of several key events under the microscope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“I think he’s closing in on this president,” James said of Mueller’s Russia investigation. “And his days are going to be coming to an end shortly.”
On Wednesday, Trump’s former “fixer” and personal attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for committing several election law violations and then lying to federal investigators about it. Cohen, 52, implicated the president in a hush money scandal where he paid off two women to stay quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump.
“As a lawyer, Cohen should’ve known better,” Judge William Pauley III said. “Each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to be motivated by personal greed and ambition.”
Cohen is just one of several Trump associates who’ve faced criminal charges related to crimes committed during the president’s 2016 campaign, including George Papadopoulus and Michael T. Flynn.
In just a few weeks, James will take over for acting New York AG Barbara Underwood, who previously filed a lawsuit against Trump, his family and the Trump Foundation, according to NBC News. The charity is accused of engaging in illegal political activity with the Trump campaign, as well as violating legal obligations.
Now, James says it’s her turn to challenge the POTUS.
“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,” she said.