The New York Attorney General's Office announced on Tuesday evening that it is now joining with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in conducting a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization.
The Axios story reports that the New York AG's Office informed the Trump Organization that its investigation into the company “is no longer purely civil in nature” and is now also a criminal one.
Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for James, said in an emailed statement Tuesday: “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”
Former President Donald Trump is probably the most investigated individual of the last 100 years. Yet he's never been charged with any criminal offense.
He has employed attorneys and accountants for four decades in connection with dozens and dozens of business ventures and investments. As is likely true of any closely held and family-run organization like Trump Inc., the organization's state and federal tax returns have been the subject of scrutiny for decades.
No investigation has ever led to evidence deemed strong enough to indict him for a crime.
But now there is supposed to be something made out of an announcement by those legal beagles at the NY AG's office that they've got Trump Inc. in their sights now???
Where have they been all this time?
This next comment is pure snark, without any real factual basis behind it.
I suspect that, given the number of very large law firms in New York City that employ tens of thousands of attorneys, as well as all the big banks and financial services businesses that employ thousands more, when you are sorting through the roster of folks working in the NY AG's office you are not likely to be looking through a list of the top 10% grads of American's elite law schools.
The kinds of allegations that have been floating around that might suggest some kind of financial irregularities in the business and accounting practices of Trump Inc. involve allegations of fluctuating values assigned to various properties depending on the use for which the valuation was needed. For example, properties might be appraised very highly if the appraisal was obtained in connection with seeking financing against the property, but then appraised very low when the appraisal might play a role in setting a value for purposes of taxation.
If claims like those are truly the centerpiece of the investigation now underway, I say “full steam ahead.” Waste all the time and New York taxpayer money you can get away with. Trump Inc. will line up a dozen accountants and attorneys to explain exactly why the appraisals were perfectly appropriate and legal as to each purpose for which they were obtained.
At some point, the Democrats are going to give up on their Javertian pursuit of Donald Trump. At some point, the realization is going to set in and they will realize that the reason he has never been charged or prosecuted is that he always obtained legal and accounting advice, and he followed it.
Wake me when it's over.