New York State Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James‘ decision to end her brief gubernatorial campaign has derailed the prospects of her becoming the first Black woman governor in American history next year. But, on the flip side, the move also effectively puts Donald Trump and the Trump Organization on heightened notice that the Empire State’s top law enforcement official has apparently renewed her resolve to bring about their demise.
James’ decision to seek re-election as attorney general was likely bittersweet for those who supported her lofty political ambitions, but it probably left a much worse taste in the mouths of the former president as a tax fraud investigation into his core business makes significant progress.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” James tweeted Thursday afternoon before sending a direct shot at Team Trump: “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do.”
James’ announcement came on the same day the Washington Post first reported that her office intends to depose Trump in an effort to find out whether the practice of tax fraud “permeated the Trump Organization.”
The Trump Organization responded with its typical mix of vitriol and cliche that didn’t help its cause.
“This is another political witch-hunt,” the Trump Organization said in a brief statement. “The only focus of the New York AG is to investigate Trump, all for her own political ambitions … This political prosecution is illegal, unethical and is a travesty to our great state and legal system.”
Although James didn’t reference Trump in her announcement to end her gubernatorial campaign, has been laser-focused on the ongoing civil and criminal investigations in New York since her office launched the probe in 2019. That’s when she issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank to obtain records related to the financing of four major Trump Organization projects and a failed effort to buy the Buffalo Bills.
James was interested in accessing a wide range of documents that include loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Congressional testimony from Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen prompted the investigation.
The investigation into Trump and the Trump organization came just three months after James was sworn in as New York’s first Black woman attorney general.
“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” James said at the time.
She was not lying.