The New York attorney general's two-year civil probe into the Trump Organization is now a criminal investigation. Here's what we know so far. USA TODAY
WASHINGTON The stakes of investigations into former President Donald Trump and his close orbit increased on Tuesday, when New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she's joining forces with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization.
"We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature," James spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement first reported late Tuesday by CNN. "We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan (district attorney)."
While the New York attorney has been conducting a civil investigation examining the finances of the Trump Organization for over a year, the latest revelation ups the pressure on the former president and his family, who have been dogged by investigators over the past several years.
President Trump and Rudy Giuliani on Aug. 14, 2020, in Bedminster, New Jersey.(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
'Vulnerable to prosecution': When Trump leaves White House, presidential 'cloak of immunity' goes away
New York probe: NY AG investigating whether Donald Trump inflated value of Seven Springs estate
More: Eric Trump must sit for deposition in NY investigation before Election Day, judge rules
The implications of a criminal investigation into Trump and those in his close orbit have gained particular salience because Trump nowlacks any immunity he enjoyed while president. The former president cannot pardon his former aides and close allies, a power he used to protect associates who were pursued in previous criminal investigations.
Here is what we know about the latest investigation into Trump and how it fits into the broader legal troubles for the former president.
New York's attorney general and Manhattan's district attorney are now jointly investigating possible criminal wrongdoing on the part of the Trump Organization.(Photo: Davidepj / iStock)
James' announcement of cooperation with the Manhattan DA adds weight to the ongoing criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, examining potential tax and bank-related fraud. Prosecutors are especially interested in whether Trump overvalued his properties and obscured debts in order to obtain valuable loans and other financial negotiations.
The New York attorney general will now cooperate with that investigation, broadening the available resources, jurisdiction and potential penalties. It is not immediately clear what additional roles the attorney general's office will play.
The original investigation began after Trump's former personal fixer Michael Cohen alleged in 2019 testimony to Congress that he and Trump repeatedly misled potential lenders and clients about the value of their properties and businesses in official documents.
Related: From Trump fixer to Mueller informant: Timeline of Michael Cohen's role in Russia probe
Vance's office was involved in a years-long court battle to obtain the former president's tax records and other documents relating to the Trump Organization.
The battle was finished at the Supreme Court, where the justices determined that the then-president must make his taxes available to the prosecutors but that prosecutors could not make the files public.
The district attorney received millions of pages of documents from the organization, including eight years of Trump's tax returns.
Taxes received: Donald Trump's tax records obtained by New York prosecutors, boosting investigation
And the attorney general is no stranger to investigating the Trump family's endeavors.
James previously investigated the Trump Foundation, the family organization's charitable arm, for fraud. The investigation resulted in the organization paying out $2 million in court-ordered damages to eight different charities in 2019. The foundation was then disolved by court order later that year.
Big picture: 'Vulnerable to prosecution': When Trump leaves White House, presidential 'cloak of immunity'goes away
Trump is also facing a criminal investigation in Georgia, where Fulton County prosecutors are examining Trump's attempts tointerfere in the state's election and illegally tilt the vote count in his favor.
Georgia prosecutors have acknowledged they are reviewing a range of possible offenses, including solicitation of election fraud, false statements, conspiracy, oath of office violations, racketeering and violence associated with threats to the election process.
2020 fallout: Georgia prosecutors investigate election fraud, conspiracy after Trump's pressure campaign as part of 'high-priority' criminal probe
Trump is also facing two defamation lawsuits brought by women who accusedhim of sexually assaulting them and then disparaging them ashe denied the allegations.
Former Elle magazine writer E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York City in the mid-1990s. She sued him for defamation in 2019, after Trump accused her of lying to boost the sale of her memoir in which she described the incident. Carroll is also seeking DNA evidence to see if Trump's genetic material is on a dress she said she wore during the alleged rape.
Related: 19 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Here's what their stories have in common.
Former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos filed a similar lawsuit in New York state court, claiming that Trump forced himself on her by kissing and groping on multiple occasions.
Meanwhile, Mary Trump, the president's niece, has accused him and his siblings of cheating her out of millions of dollars in inheritance while squeezing them out of the family business.
More: Biden says he won't order an investigation of Trump, president's legal troubles remain
Trump, in a lengthy written statement, cast the attorney general's announcement as political warfare.
"There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime," Trump said. "But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here...The Attorney General of New York literally campaigned on prosecuting DonaldTrump even before she knew anything about me."
Kevin Johnson and Jon Campbell contributed to this report.
Follow Matthew Brown online @mrbrownsir.
- Im Getting the Word Out: Inside the Feverish Mind of Donald Trump Two Months After Leaving the White House - Vanity Fair - July 25th, 2021
- Will Pence primary Trump and win? | TheHill - The Hill - July 25th, 2021
- Donald Trump says Cleveland Indians name change is 'such a disgrace' and 'disrespectful' to Native Americans - Business Insider - July 25th, 2021
- Donald Trump Allies Break With Ex-President on Supporting Ohio House Candidate - Newsweek - July 25th, 2021
- Joe Biden Mocking Donald Trump by Drinking Water With One Hand in Viral Video - Newsweek - July 25th, 2021
- Michael Cohen says he thinks Jared Kushner has already flipped on Trump - Business Insider - July 25th, 2021
- Certified Loser Donald Trump Is Rebranding MAGA as a Full-On Cult - Daily Beast - July 25th, 2021
- Donald Trump Jr. Responds to Kimberly Guilfoyle 'The View' Rumor - Newsweek - July 25th, 2021
- Donald Trump Jr. intrigued by Kimberly Guilfoyle replacing Meghan McCain on 'The View' - SFGate - July 25th, 2021
- How Scott Walker's Wisconsin Paved the Way for Donald Trump's America - Jacobin magazine - July 25th, 2021
- Melania Trump told Donald Trump she did not think he would win in 2016, former lawyer Michael Cohen told Insider - Yahoo News - July 25th, 2021
- Why the investigation into Trump's alleged misdeeds may be in trouble - Salon - July 25th, 2021
- Trump opines on coup while rejecting fears about his actions - Associated Press - July 16th, 2021
- Trump Lawyers Who Spread False Election Claims Are Now Defending Themselves In Court - NPR - July 16th, 2021
- Opinion: Why we still pay attention to Donald Trump - Poynter - July 16th, 2021
- Kremlin papers appear to show Putins plot to put Trump in White House - The Guardian - July 16th, 2021
- What you need to know about Bill McSwains letter to Donald Trump on Pa. voter fraud - The Philadelphia Inquirer - July 16th, 2021
- Donald Trump's angry at Brett Kavanaugh but this court is a huge win for the far right - Salon - July 16th, 2021
- Mike Pence and Benjamin Netanyahu pushed Donald Trump to bomb Iran after losing the election: rpt - Salon - July 16th, 2021
- Legal threats to Donald Trump more serious than ever before, experts say - The Guardian - July 14th, 2021
- Donald Trump Isnt Letting It Go - The Atlantic - July 14th, 2021
- The Trump Organization Desperately Tries to Distance Itself From Its Criminally Indicted CFO - Vanity Fair - July 14th, 2021
- Trump Is Very Disappointed in Brett Kavanaugh for Not Helping Him Steal the Election - Vanity Fair - July 14th, 2021
- Biden takes big break from habit of avoiding Trump talk | TheHill - The Hill - July 14th, 2021
- Trump's Revenge on Brad Raffensperger in Georgia - The Atlantic - July 14th, 2021
- I've lived under Donald Trump and Fidel Castro. Both taught me the importance of defending truth. - America Magazine - July 14th, 2021
- Opinion | America Punishes Only a Certain Kind of Rebel - The New York Times - July 14th, 2021
- Trump on Jan. 6 insurrection: 'These were great people' - POLITICO - July 12th, 2021
- Inside Donald Trumps Last Days in the White House and Plans for a Comeback - The Wall Street Journal - July 12th, 2021
- Trumpworld wants distance from QAnon even as the ex-president winks at it - POLITICO - July 12th, 2021
- Trump team waited for Wisc. election updates, had time zones wrong: book - Business Insider - July 12th, 2021
- Governors' races see flood of pro-Trump candidates | TheHill - The Hill - July 12th, 2021
- F--k Him: Rupert Murdoch Reportedly Made the Call to Bury Trumps Election Night Dreams in a Shallow Grave - Vanity Fair - July 12th, 2021
- Trump says he paved the way for billionaires' space race - New York Post - July 12th, 2021
- Fact-checking Donald Trump on there being 'no reason' for shooting Ashli Babbitt - PolitiFact - July 12th, 2021
- Why Are Republican Governors Sending National Guard to the Border? - POLITICO - July 12th, 2021
- Who's the Top MAGA Influencer Six Months After Trump Social Media Ban? A Newsweek Ranking - Newsweek - July 12th, 2021
- Donald Trump returns to campaign trail with rally ... - June 28th, 2021
- Still reeling from election loss, Trump says Mitch McConnell 'blew it' for America - Courier Journal - June 28th, 2021
- QAnon Followers Think They See Donald Trump in White House Window Reflection - Newsweek - June 28th, 2021
- Donald Trump Denies That He Asked Justice Department To Go After Saturday Night Live - Deadline - June 28th, 2021
- Reports of a "diminished" Trump are greatly exaggerated he can ride the Big Lie to a 2024 win - Salon - June 28th, 2021
- Is This What Donald Trump Really Thinks Of Rudy Giuliani? - The List - June 28th, 2021
- Out-of-Practice Trump Forgets to Strand Rally Crowd in Parking Lot - The New Yorker - June 28th, 2021
- From Trump to vets: Its a nice break from trench warfare of politics - Deseret News - June 28th, 2021
- Donald Trump Has Apparently Been Questioning All that Jared Kushner Did for His Administration - Yahoo Entertainment - June 28th, 2021
- Of Course Trump Tried to Get the Justice Department to Stop SNL From Making Fun of Him - Vanity Fair - June 24th, 2021
- Pence May Finally Be Ready to Strike Back Against Trump - Business Insider - June 24th, 2021
- Inside the extraordinary effort to save Trump from COVID-19 - Anchorage Daily News - June 24th, 2021
- Is banning Trump from Facebook a First Amendment issue? Clarence Thomas, other conservatives say it is - USA TODAY - June 24th, 2021
- Analysis: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott already has the one endorsement he needs - The Texas Tribune - June 24th, 2021
- Facebook says Donald Trump to remain banned for two years, effective from Jan. 7 - CNBC - June 6th, 2021
- No, Donald Trump didnt win Texas by a lot in 2020; it was among the worst GOP victory margins in decades - The Dallas Morning News - June 6th, 2021
- Did Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kris Kross Memes Have Already Begun - Yahoo Entertainment - June 6th, 2021
- The Confusing Law That Could Shape Trumps Legal Fate - POLITICO - June 6th, 2021
- Republicans fear Trump will lead to a lost generation of talent - POLITICO - June 6th, 2021
- Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump and why obstruction of justice matters - MSNBC - June 6th, 2021
- Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo | TheHill - The Hill - June 6th, 2021
- Don McGahn's Testimony Could Finally Break Donald Trump's Ability to Evade the Law - The New Republic - June 6th, 2021
- Donald Trump's new blog crashed after he posted an unverified claim about election fraud in Arizona - Business Insider - May 20th, 2021
- Donald Trump, coronavirus news & more: Whats trending today - cleveland.com - May 20th, 2021
- Donald Trump flies north for the summer to New Jersey golf club - The Guardian - May 20th, 2021
- Donald Trump Is An Exemplary Tenant, Says His Washington D.C. Landlord - Forbes - May 20th, 2021
- Joe Biden proves an elusive target for Republicans. After Cheney fight, their focus is back on the president - USA TODAY - May 20th, 2021
- Donald Trump Bashes 2020 Presidential Election As 'Crime Of The Century' - HuffPost - May 20th, 2021
- Does Donald Trump Know He Could Be Arrested This Year? - Yahoo Entertainment - May 20th, 2021
- Trumps Social Media Magic Appears to Be Wearing Off - Vanity Fair - May 11th, 2021
- Bennet Wants White House Review Of Trump's Decision To Move Space Command Away From Colorado Springs - Colorado Public Radio - May 11th, 2021
- Mike Pence looks at the 2024 presidential race but sees Donald Trump everywhere - South Bend Tribune - May 11th, 2021
- Glaring Problem With GOP's Trump Obsession. He Doesn't Need Them Anymore - Business Insider - May 11th, 2021
- Is there a Snapple Fact that says that Donald Trump lost? Lid tweet goes viral! - HITC - Football, Gaming, Movies, TV, Music - May 11th, 2021
- The Truth About Melania And Donald Trump's Relationship Today - Nicki Swift - May 11th, 2021
- Donald Trump returns to social media with glorified blog ... - May 9th, 2021
- What will Facebooks ban mean for Donald Trumps future? - Brookings Institution - May 9th, 2021
- Murphy gliding in NJ's primary; GOP wrestling with Trump - Associated Press - May 9th, 2021
- Trump wouldn't be the first ex-president to run again but he might be the last - Salon - May 9th, 2021
- Caitlyn Jenner praises Donald Trump and says she's in favor of building 'the wall' in Sean Hannity interview - Business Insider - May 9th, 2021
- Republicans cry big tech bias on the very platforms they have dominated - The Guardian - May 9th, 2021
- Letters to the editor: Doctor against medical marijuana; readers address Donald Trump's lie, Medicaid expansion - The Topeka Capital-Journal - May 9th, 2021
- Donald Trump's Adult Children Are Still Costing Taxpayers Thousands Of Dollars A Day - HuffPost - May 7th, 2021