Jan 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump seeks N.Y. attorney general's recusal from civil investigation

Combination images of  New York Attorney General Letitia James and former President Trump.

Combination images of New York Attorney General Letitia James and former President Trump. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images; Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Trump and the Trump Organization filed a motion Monday for a preliminary injunction against New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigations into the business, accusing her of "unconstitutional" abuse of process.

Why it matters: Trump is seeking a stay in the civil investigation by James' office into the family business while the outcome of his lawsuit against the attorney general is pending or for James to "recuse herself from involvement in any capacity in the active civil and criminal investigation," according to the filing.

  • In an emailed statement Monday evening, James pointed to the action as the latest example of the Trump Organization allegedly seeking "to delay our investigation into its business dealings."

Details: The motion, filed in the Northern District of New York, accuses the Democratic attorney general of overreach and launching a "politically motivated attack."

  • It called the "co-mingling of joint criminal and civil investigations" into the Trump Organization "highly prejudicial."
  • "By playing both sides, she is able to cherry pick her investigatory methods — civil or criminal — in a calculated manner to, for example, leverage a Fifth Amendment assertion and obtain an adverse inference," the filing alleges.

What they're saying: James said in her statement that "neither Donald Trump nor the Trump Organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions."

  • "Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone with the name Trump," James added.

The big picture: James has in recent weeks escalated her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices by issuing subpoenas in December for two of the former president's children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.

  • The Trump lawsuit seeks to stop the probe into whether the Trump Organization engaged in financial fraud by submitting false property valuations to reduce its tax burden.
  • The Trump Organization faces a similar criminal investigation from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Read the motion, via DocumentCloud:

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