New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announced Tuesday that it is pursuing a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s organization.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” James’ spokesman Fabien Levy told CNN. “We have no additional comment.”
The attorney general’s office started investigating the Trump Organization in 2019, but only recently evolved into a criminal probe, CNN reported. James opened her inquiry after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen claimed during a congressional hearing that Trump inflated the value of his assets.
The investigation is working to determine if the Trump Organization misled lenders and insurance companies regarding the value of properties, in addition to whether it paid the correct amount in taxes.
Trump criticized the investigation in a statement Wednesday.
“I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 ½ years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has ‘informed’ my organization that their “investigation” is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a “criminal” investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” Trump wrote.
“There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here.”
Millions of pages of documents, including Trump’s tax returns, are being examined by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office. One person familiar with the probe said multiple investigators from the New York attorney general’s office have joined the efforts.
Trump’s team has continued to face intense scrutiny in the wake of his administration. In April, federal investigators executed a search warrant at the Manhattan apartment of Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and personal lawyer to Trump, as part of a criminal investigation into Giuliani’s work in Ukraine, three people close to the matter said, according to The New York Times.
The federal probe seeks to determine whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials in 2019.
James has also led an investigation into the National Rifle Association, a pro-gun group that filed a countersuit accusing the top attorney of “weaponizing” her powers to “silence a political enemy.”