New York AG quits governor race, investigates Trump
Democrat Letitia James is no longer running for governor of New York, but will seek re-election as attorney general. The announcement came shortly after it emerged that she’s seeking to question former US President Donald Trump.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” James said on Thursday. “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do.”
The move comes less than a month after James announced she would run for governor in the 2022 election. The current governor, fellow Democrat Kathy Hochul, rose to the post in August after the resignation of Andrew Cuomo, prompted by a sexual harassment investigation launched by James.
Earlier on Thursday, James had summoned the former president to testify in a civil investigation of the Trump Organization, the New York Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter. The deposition was scheduled for January 7.
The Trump Organization later confirmed the summons, calling it “another political witch hunt.”
“The only focus of the New York AG is to investigate Trump, all for her own political ambitions,” the company said in a statement. “This political prosecution is illegal, unethical and is a travesty to our great state and legal system.”
Trump is likely to refuse the summons, as the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is currently conducting a criminal investigation against his company, and testifying in one probe could technically incriminate him in the other, the Times noted.
Both Vance and James are investigating whether the Trump Organization perpetrated “widespread fraud” by allegedly citing different property values to investors and tax authorities.