James, NY Democratic attorney general nominee, to aim at Trump
(Repeats to add PIX)
By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) - For President Donald Trump,
the New York attorney general's office has been a nemesis for
years, one whose sting has grown more potent during his rocky
tenure in office.
Letitia James, who emerged Thursday as the Democratic
nominee for New York’s top prosecutor, is expected to create
more headaches for Trump by accelerating and adding to a raft of
state-led investigations into his government and business
Democrats are aiming to regain control of Congress in the
fall to act as a check on Trump. Should that fail to happen,
though, state attorneys general will remain high among his
primary antagonists as he faces legal troubles on multiple
The New York office has prime importance: Trump is a native
New Yorker, and his company, the Trump Organization, and its
various offshoots are based in Manhattan, under the attorney
"We now have the first black attorney general in New York
state history. She is a self-proclaimed progressive and very
ambitious and will do what she has to do to make Trump's life
miserable," said Hank Sheinkopf, longtime New York Democratic
James, a Brooklyn native who currently serves as New York
City's public advocate, still has to defeat Republican nominee
Keith Wofford, a bankruptcy lawyer, in November, but New York
has not elected a Republican to the job since 1994. She would
become the state's first black woman to hold the post.
"Tonight, we rewrite the history of generations of New
Yorkers who have been treated differently simply because of
their gender, the color of their skin, the language they speak,
the God they pray to, the people they love, or the zip code they
come from," she said on Twitter after winning the nomination.
The New York attorney general's office has become a state
counterpart to federal prosecutors examining Trump's
presidential campaign and his organization.
Trump's legal woes are headed by the investigation by Robert
Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the U.S. Department of
Justice to look into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with
the Russian government ahead of the 2016 election. Trump and
Russian President Vladimir Putin have denied any coordination.
The previous attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, in 2013
sued the businessman over Trump University for allegedly
scamming consumers. Trump settled the suit for $25 million,
along with two other unrelated suits, just after he won the 2016
Schneiderman resigned this year after several women accused
him of sexual abuse. His appointed replacement, Barbara
Underwood, sued Trump and his adult children, charging them with
breaking federal and state laws. Trump said the charges are
baseless smears brought by Democrats.
James has promised to continue that lawsuit. She also wants
to end the state's double jeopardy law, allowing the state to
prosecute people pardoned for federal crimes by Trump. She also
said she will oppose what she sees as attacks by Trump on the
environment, gun-control efforts and on the rights of women and
"Bashing Trump is the New York hobby, because you can't
lose," said Sheinkopf. "They hate him here."
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
First Published: 2018-09-14 11:00:00
Updated 2018-09-14 15:15:11
© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.