In what can only be described as a travesty of justice, New York Attorney General Letitia James has been allowed to prosecute former President Donald Trump despite her vows to ruin him. It’s an old story for her; her hatred of guns led her to sue the NRA, and her desire to be governor of New York may have prompted her investigations into former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
We may never know exactly why James so vehemently focused on Trump. Her disturbing obsession with him is nothing new. During Trump’s term, she was an annoying gnat, filing suits against his administration for its environmental and immigration policies. But suddenly, an election put the power to wreck Trump’s personal and political life within her reach.
James focused on Donald Trump during her campaign for New York Attorney General, labeling him a “con man” and a “carnival barker.” She promised to scrutinize every aspect of his real estate dealings.
Her entire campaign hinged on a promise – that she would target Trump exclusively. Her vitriolic posts and comments about Trump were public for the world to see.
During her bid for the position of attorney general, she vowed to use her authority to “take on Donald Trump” and thoroughly investigate his business in New York. Publicly, she labeled then-President Trump as “illegitimate” and expressed eagerness to engage in legal actions against him, stating she looked forward to suing him daily and then returning home. Additionally, she joked that Trump had to worry about three concerns: “Mueller, Cohen, and Tish James.”
She recorded a video stating that Trump was “the eye of the storm” of a division she says hasn’t been so deep since the Civil War. In that same video, she accused Trump of “tipping families apart” and “threatening women’s most basic rights.” She vowed that she would “never be afraid to challenge this illegitimate president when our fundamental rights are at stake.”
During a 2018 debate, she doubled down on her vows to punish Trump for whatever deeds she decided he had committed. She highlighted her vindictive desire to “focus on Donald Trump” and “follow his money.”
It was the right message for the Trump-hating liberals in the state of New York, and she was elected to Attorney General.
Before her efforts to ruin Trump, James was poised for a long and successful legal career. She earned her degree from Lehman College in 1981 and later got her law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1989.
Before entering politics, she worked as a public defender and later as an Assistant Attorney General in New York. Her political career took off when she served on the New York City Council from 2004 to 2013 and became a Public Advocate for the City of New York until 2018.
In 2018, she made history as the first woman of color to become the Attorney General of the State of New York. Letitia James advocates for affordable housing, civil rights, and criminal justice reform. She’s also worked on addressing police misconduct and ensuring accountability.
But her desire to destroy powerful men landed her in the national spotlight in 2021. Her inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat with whom she shared the ticket during her initial election as attorney general in 2018, played a pivotal role in Cuomo’s resignation in August 2021.
But she wasn’t done with him yet.
In 2021, her office published a scathing report exposing the Cuomo administration for underreporting the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes in the initial phases of the pandemic. This revelation significantly damaged Cuomo’s reputation as a reliable source of information during the pandemic.
Cuomo decided to fight back in September with accusations of political bias. He filed an ethics complaint over James’s handling of his investigation. In a complaint Trump supporters may have heard before, Cuomo suggested that James initiated the investigation to damage his reputation and advance her political agenda. He further accused James of having a political and self-interest-driven agenda.
As a side note, James briefly ran for the governor’s seat after forcing Cuomo to resign. No action was taken on his complaint.
But that wasn’t the first time James took advantage of the downfall of a colleague. In May 2018, the political scene in New York faced a significant shakeup when the state’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, was accused of multiple instances of sexual and domestic misconduct. He quickly resigned, prompting Letitia James to announce her candidacy to fill the vacant position.
In 2020, James boldly attacked the NRA in a lawsuit, accusing the organization’s leadership of mismanaging its finances. She is a strong gun control advocate who was able to target the nation’s most powerful gun advocacy group to further her cause. In 2022, amidst the ongoing legal battles, she sought to have the organization dissolved, but a judge blocked her and allowed her lawsuit to continue. Earlier this month, the lawsuit finally concluded in a $100 thousand settlement with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
Her seat was barely warm before she put her vendetta against Trump into action. She had investigated him for three years before winning her Attorney General seat. After her election in 2019, she started her “formal investigation” into all of his businesses.
But James could not pursue criminal prosecution against Trump, as her case’s legal theory did not grant her the statutory authority. She forwarded her preliminary findings to the Biden Justice Department, seeking criminal prosecution. In turn, the Justice Department executed a search warrant at Trump’s residence as part of the ongoing investigation.
Additionally, she filed another lawsuit, accusing Trump’s company of misleading banks and insurers by exaggerating asset values and his net worth on financial paperwork. In September, she got backing from a New York judge who ruled that Trump and his company committed fraud.
The judge further ordered the rescinding of Trump’s business licenses to prevent Trump from conducting business in New York and limit his authority to make strategic and financial decisions for properties in the state.
The fraud case against Trump is nearing the end, with James deciding that her initial decision to seek $250 million in fines wasn’t enough. She upped the ante to $370 million and is seeking to ban him and several of his directors from any involvement in real estate for life and to ban them from serving as an officer or director in any New York entity or corporation. Additionally, she wants to ban Donald and Eric, Trump’s two eldest sons, from participating in the real estate market for five years.
The judge currently presiding over the case is as biased as James. Judge Arthur Engoron, who had made the initial ruling in September, has repeatedly clashed with Trump in the courtroom. His decision to bar Trump from presenting his closing arguments was startling, although he did relent in allowing a few minutes for Trump to speak.
Trump chose to use his time to accuse James, rightfully so, of politically targeting him to “make sure I never win again.” He went on to add, “I’m being persecuted by someone running for office, and I think you have to go outside the bounds.”
He was quickly shut down by Engoron, who interrupted him to direct him to finish his comments. Trump took a moment to throw a hand grenade at Engoron, saying:
“You have your own agenda; you can’t listen for more than one minute.”
It’s not a new argument for Trump and his legal team, who have repeatedly called out Engoron and James for their bias against the former president. On November 6, Trump’s lawyers filed for a mistrial because “the Court has abrogated its constitutional responsibility to ensure each Defendant, including President Trump, receives a fair trial free from even the appearance of impropriety and impartiality.”
As proof of her political motivation, the Trump legal team pointed to some of her previous statements, such as referring to him as an “illegitimate president” and her pledge to “focus on Donald Trump” during her campaign. James consistently publicized her dislike of Trump, even going as far as mocking his book, “The Art of the Deal,” calling it “The Art of the Steal.”
The left knows full well that James has a deranged obsession with Trump and that the GOP frontrunner had no chance for a fair trial in Engoron’s courtroom. In fact, they were depending on it. It’s all part of the greater plan to ensure Trump’s followers abandon him.
To the frustration of Democrats, his support among Republicans, Independents, and even some Democrats is growing with each passing court case. But James seems uniquely poised to be the one to make her charges “stick.” It could be that one woman’s Trump Derangement Syndrome may finally unravel Trump’s campaign and make Biden’s dream of an unchallenged Putin-inspired electoral victory come true.