An Extraordinary Step
As The Hill reports:
It’s highly unusual for law enforcement to publicly reveal preliminary evidence from an ongoing investigation. In civil and criminal probes, investigators typically stay tight-lipped about anything they have uncovered or are seeking, in part because they worry about damaging a potential court case.
The attorney general’s office said in its court filings Tuesday that it has taken the extraordinary step of opening the lid on its investigation in order to push back on Donald Trump’s attacks in court and in public that the investigation is politically motivated and being carried out in bad faith.
The filing from Office of the Attorney General (OAG) states that “Other than appearing in New York Supreme Court beginning in August 2020 in this proceeding to compel production of necessary documents, and to seek the Court’s intervention regarding the Trump Organization’s documentary subpoena-compliance failures, OAG has largely maintained its investigation out of the public eye.”
The OAG’s filing continues. “However, because the Respondents have questioned whether OAG is pursuing in good faith a civil inquiry that may lead to civil remedial action within OAG’s statutory power, OAG now presents to the Court a showing that reflects the progress of that inquiry.”
Lawyers with the attorney general’s office added in their brief that they don’t believe the disclosure will hamper the investigation. They also said that they are investigating other issues that were not disclosed in the court papers.
In a press release on Tuesday night James said that there is “significant evidence” that Trump hid the real value of his properties and misstated his wealth to financial institutions. False or misleading statements were then allegedly used to get loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions.
The Trump Organization quickly responded, saying James had “no case” and referenced her brief campaign for governor.
James’ inquiry slowed to crawl earlier this month, after her office subpoenaed Donald Trump and his eldest children, Don Jr. and Ivanka. (RELATED: New York Attorney General Subpoenas Don Jr., Ivanka)
Lawyers for the Trump family are seeking to block the subpoenas. They accuse James of attempting to obtain testimony that could then be used by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his parallel investigation into Donald Trump’s business.
The former president and Trump Organization have also sued James, claiming the OAG has violated his constitutional rights. (RELATED: Trump Sues New York Attorney General)
“The investigations commenced by James are in no way connected to legitimate law enforcement goals, but rather, are merely a thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates,” Trump said in the lawsuit. “Her 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.”