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NY Attorney General Launches Probe of Trump Org Projects and Attempt to Buy Buffalo Bills
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12 Mar 2019 03:09 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Letitia James (Image source: Screenshot)

 

The testimony of Michael Cohen from a few weeks back opened a lot of possible inquiries into Donald Trump, his administration, his campaign, his family, and his businesses. House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings is looking to speak with insiders who know how the president handled his financial matters, especially with regard to repaying his former attorney for the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments. The House Intelligence Committee has been spurred into action as well. 

These investigations even reach outside of Congress. New York Attorney General Letitia James is launching an investigation into four Trump Organization projects, as well as the president's failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills football team in 2014, according to a person who was briefed on the subpoenas sent by James's office.

 

Not that James's move is all that surprising, as the newly-elected attorney general campaigned on these promises, and after she won the election, she promised to investigate Trump and his clan using "every area of the law." 

Now that she's the first African-American woman to be elected to statewide office, the first woman to be elected attorney general in the state of New York, and the first African-American to serve as attorney general, she has a few things to prove.

 

She said before officially taking office that "the president of the United States has to worry about three things: Mueller, Cohen, and Tish James." 

She planned to investigate Trump's real estate holdings as well as government subsidies and also wanted to pursue charges for anyone Trump pardons who committed their crimes in New York, but a bill needs to be passed in order for her to pursue the latter.

 

James' first investigation into Trump was kicked off when Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, testified before the House Oversight Committee a few weeks back, according to the source. He'd testified that his former client had inflated his assets in financial statements and provided copies of the statements he claims were submitted to Deutsche Bank. 

It should be noted, however, that James' probe is civil; it is not a criminal investigation. New York state law gives James' office the authority to investigate fraud and allows her to fine business, and even sometimes dissolve them, if they have been found to break the law repeatedly.

 

According to the source, the Deutsche Bank subpoena is seeking loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit, and other financial transactions that are connected to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the Trump National Doral outside of Miami, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. 

Also being sought are records connected to Trump's unsuccessful attempt to by the Buffalo Bills football team. He gave Deutsche Bank personal financial statements in 2014 before a planned bid, according to The New York Times. However, the team was eventually sold to another bidder for $1.4 billion.

 

A United States-based unit of Deutsche Bank that serves extremely wealthy individuals lent Trump more than $100 million in 2012 to pay for the Doral golf resort and $170 million in 2015 to turn Washington's Old Post Office Building into a luxury hotel. 

The New Jersey-based Investors Bank was issued a subpoena as well for records from when they backed Manhattan's Trump Park Avenue project.

 

James is not the first New York attorney general to pursue Trump.  Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman went after both the Trump Foundation and Trump University before he resigned because of sexual allegations against him. Trump referred to him as "Sleazebag AG Eric Schneiderman" and "Shady Eric." The president similarly went after Schneiderman's temporary replacement, Barbara Underwood.  

He's referred to James as another attorney general who "openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda." He tweeted that he would never be treated fairly by the New York attorney generals and called it a "total double standard of 'justice.' "

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