New York attorney general Letitia James is considering escalating her legal fight with former President Donald Trump.
James is reportedly considering suing Trump, and potentially one of his children, after rejecting an offer from the former president’s legal team to settle a civil investigation into his real estate business.
According to The New York Times, James’s rejection of the settlement tees up the potential to sue Trump for fraud. Sources close to the matter say that James’s chances of suing Trump grew after rejecting at least one settlement offer last month. The Trump Organization has attempted for months to reach a settlement after the AG’s office informed a court in January that it had uncovered evidence the company used “fraudulent or misleading” asset valuations to secure loans and other tax benefits.
The New York AG has honed in on allegations Trump fraudulently inflated the value of his assets and has mounted a years-long inquiry. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and derided the investigation as a politically motivated witch hunt. James, a Democrat, is seeking another term as the state’s AG after abandoning a campaign for governor earlier this year.
A lawsuit from Ms. James would supercharge their drawn-out battle, offering her an opportunity to deliver a significant blow to the former president and his business, which she vowed before taking office to “vigorously investigate.” If the case goes to trial and Mr. Trump loses, a judge could impose financial penalties and restrict the former president’s business operations in New York — all potentially in the midst of a 2024 presidential campaign that he is expected to join.
It is possible that Ms. James, as part of her lawsuit, could seek to curtail Mr. Trump’s Manhattan real estate portfolio, though she has given mixed signals publicly about what sort of punishment she will seek to impose.
The New York AG could also potentially target Trump’s older children in the lawsuit. Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Trump Jr. have all been senior executives at the Trump Organization.