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Letitia James Probes Trump World

Prosecutors in New York are laser-focused on the financial dealings of former president Donald Trump. 

Police solve less than 50 percent of homicide cases in several of New York’s biggest counties. Instead of devoting its resources to the growing pile of unsolved murder cases, prosecutors in New York are laser-focused on the financial dealings of former President Donald Trump.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office raised several allegations against former President Trump and his adult children in a petition filed earlier this month. The civil filing comes on the heels of a criminal investigation launched by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in August 2020.

In the civil filing, James’s office alleges Trump “misstated objective facts, like the size of [his]…Trump Tower penthouse” in his financial statements. James’s office pointed to alleged discrepancies between Trump’s financial records and statements from an outside accounting firm, disputed some of Trump’s asset valuations, and argued that he may have obtained credit and insurance with falsified financial information.

CNN and other outlets are fixating on James’s claim that Trump’s asset “valuations… were generally inflated as part of a pattern to suggest that [his] net worth was higher than it otherwise would have appeared.”

Trump obviously enjoyed boasting about his wealth on the campaign trail. He protested—too much, it seemed—that his net worth was “massive.” The size of his personal fortune was a selling point to many of his followers.

Trump’s petty bluster inspired an equal and opposite reaction among well-heeled #Resistance moms eager to prove the former president a criminal and a fraud. James’s investigation, whatever its merits, feels like a sop to that crowd.

about the author

John Hirschauer is assistant editor of The American Conservative. He was previously a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at National Review and a staff writer at RealClear.

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