Trump and his company filed the lawsuit on their behalf. It claims that Trump’s two-year-old financial fraud probe by the attorney general was politically motivated and violates Trump’s rights. James’ office wants to depose Trump as soon as possible.
Trump called the investigation “unconstitutional” during a Monday phone call with CBS News.
“We are such an innocent and aggrieved party. Trump stated, “It is a disgrace.”
He compared James’ probe to the investigations he had to face as president.
Trump stated, “This is like Russia. Russia. Russia. This turned out to be an elaborate hoax.”
James’s office is accused of “incessantly bombarding (Mr. Trump), His Family and his Business, Trump Organization LLC with unwarranted Subpoenas in an bitter crusade against the President.”
It refers to media appearances, such as the December 15 episode on “The View,” where James stated that the Trump investigation was one of the “unfinished business” which led her to close a fledgling gubernatorial race on December 9.
Alina Habba (the attorney representing Trump in the suit) stated in a telephone call with CBS News that she believes they have strong evidence against James. She described James’ investigation as “an embarrassment” while stating that Trump and his company had already provided 8 million pages of documents for investigators.
Ronald Fischetti, an attorney representing Trump in other matters, stated that Trump’s team believes they have no choice.
“This is a stretch. That is something I know. Fischetti stated that in 50 years of doing this, there has never been an action against a prosecutor that I have been even peripherally involved in. Fischetti said that she considers it her duty to indict him. This is personal.”
Later, Fischetti clarified that he believes it was “a stretch” to have the New York Attorney General involved in both the criminal and civil investigations into Trump.
In a Monday statement, James accused Trump’s company of trying to “delay our investigation into its business dealings.”
To be clear, neither Trump nor his Organization have the right to decide if or where they will answer for what they did. James stated that our investigation will not be halted because no one is above law, even Trump himself.”
Although the investigation is civil, James’ staff are also involved in a criminal investigation of Trump and his company that is being conducted by Manhattan’s district attorney’s. In connection with this investigation, the company and its CFO Allen Weisselberg were charged. Trump has not.
Both investigations look at Trump’s finances as well as the valuations that he and his company have given to different properties over time. They have been in close proximity for a long time. To assist the Manhattan district attorney’s probe, James’ staff was also assigned.
Trump and his staff could still be charged in the ongoing Manhattan investigation. James’ investigation could lead to a lawsuit against Trump and the company seeking civil damages, but not criminal charges.
Fischetti stated that this is one reason Trump’s lawyers are refusing James’ attempts to have him take a deposition in January.
“She has put her own people in the office of the district attorney, at least four. They are speaking at the grand jury. Fischetti stated that they entered the grand jury while witnesses were being briefed. “They still want a civil deposition so that she can get the answers she gets and give them the Manhattan district attorney.”