Former President Donald Trump is getting quite nervous as civil and criminal investigations into his family business intensify. Members of his inner circle, clearly unnerved by the progressing probes, are becoming more openly defiant toward investigators and more desperate in their accusations.
Team Trump went after New York Attorney General Letitia James this week on television and through litigation — a display of desperation from a group that knows it’s squarely in law enforcement’s line of sight.
In a court filing Monday, Trump attorney Alina Habba claimed that James' civil investigation lacked a “proper purpose.” She called on James to recuse herself from the case, alleging the attorney general launched the probe for the purpose of “harassing, threatening, intimidating, and retaliating” against Trump and his associates.
The Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against James on similar grounds last month. Legal experts have said it’s unlikely to succeed in court.
Nonetheless, Team Trump took Monday’s court filing as a cue to launch media attacks, hoping to gin up enough friction to stall James’ inquiry — an effort that seemed doomed to failure.
“It violates the Constitution. It’s unethical. It’s wrong,” Habba said of James' investigation during an interview with the far-right TV network Newsmax. “She is a sick person who really, really truly has taken her oath of office and just weaponized it.”
Trump’s son Eric, who runs the Trump Organization with his older brother, Donald Jr., also took to TV to complain Monday.
Eric Trump claimed James began investigating his father and his business because “she didn’t believe in his political party, she didn’t like us, because the people in Washington, D.C., told her to do that.”
There’s no evidence of this. And, in fact, the rationale for probing Trump’s business has been expressed by none other than Trump’s own former associates. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, for example, called Trump a “cheat” and a “conman,” and advised congressional investigators to look into the former president’s business for potentially criminal activity.
Team Trump is resorting to its typical strategy when facing investigations: attack the investigators. And like other attempts, this latest effort is destined to go down in flames.
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