(Headline USA) New York‘s attorney general said Friday that she’s assigned two lawyers to work with the Manhattan district’s attorney’s office on a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump‘s business dealings.
Attorney General Letitia James said her office is working alongside and cooperating with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. on the criminal probe. Vance’s office has been investigating Trump for about two years.
James, a Democrat, said her office is also continuing its ongoing civil investigation into the the Republican ex-president and his company, the Trump Organization.
“Two of our assistant attorney generals have been cross designated as district attorneys,” James said at a news conference on an unrelated topic.
It was James’ first appearance before the news media since her office announced Tuesday night that its Trump investigation had evolved into a criminal matter. She did not say what prompted her office to expand its investigation into a criminal probe.
Trump issued a lengthy statement Wednesday complaining that he’s being “unfairly attacked and abused by a corrupt political system.”
He contends the probes are part of a Democratic plot to silence his voters and block him from running for president again.
Trump’s statement continued: “There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here. The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting Donald Trump even before she knew anything about me.”
“She said that if elected, she would use her office to look into ‘every aspect’ of my real estate dealings. She swore that she would ‘definitely sue’ me. She boasted on video that she would be, and I quote, ‘a real pain in the ass.’ She declared, ‘just wait until I’m in the Attorney General’s office,’ and, ”I’ve got my eyes on Trump Tower.'”
“She also promised that, if elected, she would ‘join with law enforcement and other Attorney Generals across this nation in removing this President from office,’ and, ‘It’s important that everyone understand that the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end.'”
“The Attorney General made each of these statements, not after having had an opportunity to actually look at the facts, but BEFORE she was even elected, BEFORE she had seen even a shred of evidence,” he said.
He summarized the criminal investigation as a “political and partisan Witch Hunt” and the type of thing that happens in “failed third world countries.”
Duncan Levin, a lawyer for a witness who’s cooperating with both investigations, said they’ve been talking to prosecutors from the attorney general’s criminal division since March.
Levin represents Jen Weisselberg, the former daughter-in-law of Trump’s longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.
Jen Weisselberg has given New York investigators reams of tax records and other documents as they look into whether some Trump employees were given off-the-books compensation, such as apartments or school tuition.
Allen Weisselberg was subpoenaed in James’ civil investigation and testified twice last year.
Vance’s office has been investigating unsubstantiated claims that Trump, his company or people connected to them committed crimes relating to matters including hush-money payments for women who say they slept with Trump, property valuations and employee compensation.
James’s civil investigation has centered on some of the same issues.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.