New York Attorney General Letitia James has indicated that there are likely to be more charges from her office’s three-year investigation into Donald Trump’s business deal, which has already entangled one of his top lieutenants.
James presented the investigation of the Trump organization in Manhattan on Wednesday with a group of business leaders and civilian leaders as proof of her willingness to engage powerful actors. She added: ‘I can assure you that the investigation is alive. So stay tuned. ”
The former president has taken an increasingly public stance in recent weeks, with fundraisers and national talks fueling expectations that he will make another bid for the White House. If so, further charges by the Attorney General and Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, could complicate matters.
In July, the two jointly unveiled a 15-count criminal charge against the Trump organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, accusing him of not paying taxes on company benefits such as schooling and luxury car leases.
Weisselberg pleaded not guilty. Trump dismissed the case as “a political witch-hunt” incited by his Democratic enemies.
The charges against Weisselberg and the investigation of his children are widely regarded as an attempt by prosecutors to persuade him to cooperate with their investigation. So far, he has refused to do so.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are also considering tax charges against another top executive of Trump: Matthew Calamari, chief operating officer. They are expected to make a decision within a few weeks.
Nicholas Gravante, a lawyer for Calamari, a one-time bodyguard who rose through the Trump organization, said he was hopeful of convincing prosecutors that his client was not violating any laws: “We remain in talks with the office of the district attorney. Anyone guess how these discussions will end, but it was cordial and productive. ”
The Trump organization did not immediately request a comment.
In a recent interview with the FT, Vance did not want to discuss the details of the case, but said his goal at the end of the year was “to complete decisions on charges before I leave”.
James’ performance Wednesday at an Association for a Better New York breakfast packed with donors in the bag and power brokers will encourage speculation that she will elect him governor next year, as well as her speech, which looks like a campaign speech.
During her remarks, she turned to finalize a score with Andrew Cuomo, the three-time Democratic governor of New York who resigned in August after investigators appointed by James’ office found that he had sexually harassed several women. . Cuomo, who resigned shortly after the report was released, repeatedly dismissed the investigation as a ploy by James to remove a political rival.
“Until now, I have chosen to take the highway. I have chosen not to respond, “the attorney general said on Wednesday. She then criticized Cuomo, saying “he has never taken responsibility for his own actions” or “held himself accountable for how his behavior affected our state government”.