The New York attorney general’s office is now investigating the Trump Organization in a “criminal capacity”, expanding its civil investigation.
James’ civil investigation into the Trump Organization began in 2019, when she announced that she would investigate the then-president’s real estate holdings and finances.
In a campaign video in 2018, James said: “President Trump was almost on the verge of bankruptcy and then all of a sudden he was flush with money and we all know that domestic banks were not… extending any credit to him and so the question is where did he get all of that money from?”
Although the civil investigation will continue, on Tuesday (18 May), a spokesperson for James said: “We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organiaation is no longer purely civil in nature.
“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment.”
The announcement that James will be working with the Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance could spell even more trouble for the former president, as Vance’s own probe has investigated whether Trump misled lenders about the value of his real estate, and whether the Organization paid the correct taxes.
Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress in 2019, insisting that Trump had lied about the value of various assets to secure loans and reduce taxes.
He also claimed that Trump reimbursed him for hush money payments “to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign”, and that Trump is “a racist, a conman [and] a cheat”.
Reacting to the news of the criminal investigation, Cohen posted an edited photo of Trump behind bars on Twitter, and wrote: “As more documents are reviewed by the [New York attorney general] and [New York district attorney], it appears that the troubles for Donald Trump will keep on coming!
“Soon enough, Donald and associates will be held responsible for their actions.”