New York Attorney General Letitia James may be the toughest litigator in the country. In the four months after taking office, James has filed suit and launched investigations into the country’s most daunting special interests, ranging from opioid manufacturer Perdue Pharma and the Sackler family, the company’s owners, to the National Rifle Association and Facebook.
And now she has President Donald Trump in her crosshairs, The Hill reports.
Recently her office has sought bank records tied to the Trump Organization and its affiliates. She’s continuing a lawsuit brought by her predecessor against the defunct Trump Foundation, alleging the organization violated state and federal laws governing nonprofits.
And James’ office has championed or joined dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administrations controversial plans, including Trump’s proposed border wall and his plans to include a question regarding citizenship status on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 census.
“As the next Attorney General of Trump’s home state, I will be shining a bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings, and every dealing, demanding truthfulness at every turn,” she said late last year.
It doesn’t look like she’s going to leave any stone unturned, The Daily Beast reports.
“We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” James said.
Trump is paying attention. And he’s not happy.
Last December he tweeted that James “openly campaigned on a GET Trump agenda.”
….In any event, it goes on and on & the new AG, who is now being replaced by yet another AG (who openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda), does little else but rant, rave & politic against me. Will never be treated fairly by these people – a total double standard of “justice.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
James, 60, has six siblings. Her father was a maintenance man, her mom a customer service representative. She defied her father’s wishes that she marry a plumber and paid her own way through Howard University School of Law.
She worked as a Public Defender in the beginning and became New York’s public advocate. Here, she filed lawsuits against landlords who allegedly violated tenant rights.
James is also the first African-American woman and the first woman to be elected attorney general in the state.
“Tish is fearless, and Tish feels compelled by a higher calling,” says her colleague Christine Quinn, who served as Speaker of the City Council. “She doesn’t really, I suspect, care who the enemy is.”
And she’s now filed more lawsuits than all three of her predecessors combined, clashing with former mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
“She’s independent,” Quinn says. “She’s going to inform you of what she’s going to do.”
James does have critics — Republicans, of course. Some mainly wish she would center her attention around Albany, New York, notable for public officials who have wound up behind bars.
“She promised to be a far-left attorney general, and she’s making good on that promise,” said Republican New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli. “Most people in this state, however, wish she would focus her attention on [Gov.] Andrew Cuomo rather than Donald Trump. This state has a rampant problem with political corruption, and to make your focus on a man 500 miles away in Washington when there are ample targets that the attorney general of new york should be looking at is a cause for concern.”
She’s garnered national attention (and managed to get under Trump’s skin) with her investigation into the NRA’s tax-exempt status. After winning her seat in January, the NRA began an audit in anticipation of the investigation.
A legal battle ensued following the audit, between the embattled gun rights organization and its biggest contractor, advertising firm Ackerman McQueen. And that culminated in last week’s duel between then-president Oliver North, who has his own contract with the ad agency, and NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.
North bowed out and LaPierre won another year at the helm of the NRA.
Trump took notice and referred to James in a tweet without mentioning her name.
“The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the state’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization & others,” he tweeted. “It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting & get back to GREATNESS — FAST!”
The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others. It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS – FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
In response, James’ office fired back:
“Attorney General Letitia James is focused on enforcing the rule of law. In any case, we pursue, we will follow the facts wherever they may lead. We wish the President would share our respect for the law.”
But Trump doesn’t. He acts as if he’s immune to the law. Now, this fearless woman has him in her crosshairs. He’d better not blink.
Featured image by The Washington Post via YouTube video