In a court filing Tuesday, the Trump family accused New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, of politically-motivated legal harassment.
The complaint filed by lawyers representing former President Donald Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, said that James, hoping to “garner votes, money, and support, and now, as Attorney General, to gain political support,” has “repeatedly threatened investigation and prosecution” of the Trumps, according to Fox News.
The attorneys said that James violated the New York state constitution by allegedly conspiring with former New York State District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to carry out parallel criminal and civil cases against the former president and his family, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the outlet, the Trump attorneys also allege that James violated Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules by violating its provisions forbidding individuals from campaigning on promises of a criminal investigation.
In January, James claimed her investigators found so-called “evidence” that the Trump organization used “fraudulent or misleading” asset valuations to obtain loans and tax benefits, the Associated Press reported.
James also subpoenaed Trump Jr. and Ivanka, Fox News reported. She demanded that the duo offer testimony and documents “in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization, or any matter which the Attorney General deems pertinent thereto.”
The Trump lawyers’ Tuesday filing accused James of a “blatant and obvious attempt to suppress [Donald Trump’s] voice, interfere with his political ambitions and silence the will of millions of voters.”
“The New York Constitution, as interpreted by the Court of Appeals, and the CPL promulgated thereunder, created protections for subpoenaed witnesses that federal law does not provide,” the filing stated, according to Fox News.
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“Under the New York Constitution and the CPL, an agency conducting a criminal investigation through an active grand jury is required, if the witness is subpoenaed, to examine the subject or target of the investigation before the grand jury.”
James’ “investigation and prosecution [is] based solely on political animus” and “such selective prosecution violates the Equal Protection Clauses of the Federal and New York States Constitutions and requires that the subpoenas be quashed,” the Trump lawyers wrote in the filing, the outlet reported.
“This is the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent during a campaign year,” Eric Trump, another son of the former president, told Daily Mail.
“Letitia James is not working on behalf of the Attorney General’s office, she is working for the DNC and using the resources of the State of New York to further her own political ambition.”
“This conduct is an embarrassment to New York. Last week an 11-month-old girl was shot in the face on New York streets, crime is absolutely rampant, homelessness is through the roof, two brave law enforcement officers were just executed and 1.9% of New Yorkers have fled the state in the last 12 months. Yet Letitia’s sole focus, and all the resources of her office, remains on getting Donald Trump — the leader of the Republican Party,” Eric said, according to the outlet.
James briefly ran for New York governor last year before suspending her campaign to continue her legal work against the former president.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” James said in a December statement announcing the suspension of her gubernatorial bid, according to the AP.
“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 said.