Donald Trump Sues New York Attorney General, Accusing Her of Political Vendetta

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Former President

Donald Trump

filed a lawsuit against New York state Attorney General

Letitia James

on Monday, accusing her of having a political vendetta and abusing her office to launch investigations into him, his company and his family.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in New York, accuses Ms. James, a Democrat, of abandoning the impartiality of her office and seeks to stop her from any involvement in civil or criminal probes into the Trump Organization and related Trump businesses.

Ms. James, who was elected attorney general in 2018, campaigned for the office on a promise that she would investigate Mr. Trump and his businesses for alleged corruption, according to the lawsuit. She made the claims despite having no insight into the Trump Organization or Mr. Trump’s real-estate businesses, the lawsuit says.

“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,” says the lawsuit, which also lists the Trump Organization as a plaintiff. The lawsuit seeks to bar her involvement in any civil or criminal investigations against Trump and his company.

Alina Habba,

a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said in a statement that by filing the lawsuit, “we intend to not only hold [Ms. James] accountable for her blatant constitutional violations, but to stop her bitter crusade to punish her political opponent in its tracks.”

Ms. James said in a statement Monday that the Trump Organization had continually sought to delay her investigation. “To be clear, neither Mr. Trump nor the Trump Organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions,” she said. “Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone with the name Trump.”

The attorney general’s office has said its investigation into the Trump Organization and Mr. Trump began in 2019, after former Trump lawyer

Michael Cohen

testified before Congress that Mr. Trump inflated and deflated his assets to secure tax and loan benefits. Lawyers working on Ms. James’s investigation have said in court filings that the office is examining financial dealings around Trump Organization properties including Seven Springs, an estate in Westchester, and 40 Wall St., an office building in lower Manhattan.

Monday’s lawsuit said that in a separate matter, Ms. James’s office issued subpoenas to the Eric Trump Foundation, a charity run by Mr. Trump’s son,

Eric Trump,

related to donations it made. These investigations haven’t led to criminal charges, the lawsuit says.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Monday that the Trump Organization had continually sought to delay her investigation.



Photo:

BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

While in office, Ms. James has continued to make comments in speeches, the media or in Twitter posts vowing to fight the former president and accusing him of abusing power, the lawsuit says.

She also said in a video in the fall announcing her candidacy for New York governor that she had sued President Trump’s administration 76 times, according to the lawsuit. Ms. James ended her gubernatorial run earlier this month, stating she would seek another term as attorney general.

While Ms. James’s office is conducting a civil investigation, some of her lawyers are working on a separate criminal probe conducted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which continues to examine if Mr. Trump illegally inflated some property values and deflated others in order to gain tax, insurance and loan benefits. A Manhattan grand jury is currently hearing evidence in that case, according to people familiar with the matter.

While Manhattan District Attorney

Cyrus Vance Jr.

, a Democrat, is expected to step down at the end of this year, that probe is expected to continue under the next district attorney. A spokesman for

Alvin Bragg,

who is also a Democrat, said the incoming district attorney hadn’t been briefed on the case but would follow the facts. A spokesman for Mr. Vance declined to comment.

Write to Corinne Ramey at Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com

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