New York Attorney General Letitia James indicated this week that she will continue to pursue criminal charges against President Donald Trump and his family after he leaves office, though she didn’t indicate what crimes they may have committed.
To that end, she told The View Tuesday that she believes the president will step aside before Jan. 20 — should he wind up being forced to concede to Democratic rival Joe Biden — so that, then-President Mike Pence can preemptively pardon him.
“The vast majority of legal scholars have indicated that he cannot pardon himself. What he could do is step down and allow the vice president, Vice President Pence, to pardon him,” James said.
“In all likelihood, I suspect he’ll pardon his family members, his children, his son-in-law, and individuals in his administration, as well as some of his close associates. And then I suspect at some point he’ll step down and allow the vice president to pardon him,” she continued.
“Now, it’s important to understand he’s pardoned from federal crimes, but he is not pardoned from state crimes. Last year I introduced a bill in the state Legislature which would close the pardon loophole so that individuals such as the president of the United States would not evade justice,” the Soros-backed prosecutor added.
“It’s important that we have this check on presidential powers and that the state Legislature… I’m so happy they passed that bill, and it’s now the law in the state of New York. President Trump cannot avoid justice in the great state of New York,” she said.
Last month, The New York Times reported that two probes into President Trump and his businesses — one civil and one criminal — have been launched by the state alleging fraud.
“The inquiries — a criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and a civil one by the state attorney general, Letitia James — are being conducted independently. But both offices issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization in recent weeks for records related to the fees,” the paper reported, citing people allegedly familiar with the investigations.
The paper reported that the investigation is focused on millions of dollars in consulting-fee write-offs “which appear to have gone to Ivanka Trump.”
The news drew an unusually-strong public reaction from the president’s daughter.
“This is harassment pure and simple. This ‘inquiry’ by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage. They know very well that there’s nothing here and that there was no tax benefit whatsoever. These politicians are simply ruthless,” she wrote on Twitter, in reference to the Times’ report.
In a separate tweet, Ivanka Trump posted an earlier Times story shortly after James won office, in which she “made no secret that she intends to use her powers” as state AG “to pursue possible legal action against President Trump.”
The story noted that she called Trump an “illegitimate president” that she planned to utilize “every area of the law” to target both him and members of his family.
“This fishing expedition is clearly part of a continued political vendetta,” Ivanka Trump wrote.
To that point, a video posted to social media in November 2018 features James and another woman discussing the future AG’s plans to target the president, as she encourages New Yorkers to “get off your a** and vote.”
“What would you say to people who say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to bother to register to vote because my voice doesn’t make a difference.” Or, ‘I’m just one person,’” the unidentified woman says.
“I say one name — Donald Trump. That should motivate you. Get off your a** and vote,” James responds.
“Will you sue him for us?” the woman asks.
“Oh, we’re definitely going to sue him. We’re going to be a real pain in the ass. He’s going to know my name personally,” James said.
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