The State government in New York has become part of the #Resistance to Trump, and not just on policy issues.
The law enforcement and legislative functions have been co-opted to target Trump because he is a political enemy. In the war on Trump, important norms are being broken. It’s disgusting and dangerous.
The most prominent norm being broken is by the new Attorney General, Latitia James, who campaigned on the promise to use the full force the the State’s law enforcement powers to target Trump and his family:
“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well”
Such targeting of Trump didn’t start with James, she was following up on similar targeting by former (and disgraced) AG Eric Schneiderman and interim AG Barbara Underwood. We documented this long line of Democrat New York Attorney Generals weaponizing the Office for political purposes We wrote about it in December 2018, Incoming NY Attorney General vows to use full power of the State to get Trump.
Since taking Office, James has held true to her promise to target Trump, as CNN reported in early April 2019, The New York AG’s first 100 days of war against Trump:
So far, her office has subpoenaed two banks for records related to Trump Organization projects and has continued to pursue a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation, alleging it violated state and federal charities law. Asked by CNN about the lawsuit, Donald Trump Jr. dismissed it, saying there was “nothing to talk about — more nonsense.” She’s even pushed for the state assembly to pass legislation that would allow her office to pursue state charges for anyone the President pardons on federal charges…
Her office’s pursuit of tax records and details of President Trump’s businesses, along with efforts by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, could be critical leading into the re-election campaign as the Mueller investigation has ended and House Democrats are only now accelerating their investigations….
“I will never be afraid to challenge this illegitimate President,” James said during her campaign.
“Most of his business activities are performed in New York,” James told MSNBC earlier this month. “He engages in business in New York. He operates in New York. And it’s really critically important that New Yorkers, and as taxpayers … that we understand and know whether or not he devalued his corporations and he received some tax benefits thereof. That he engaged in false claims against New Yorkers and as a result of that we are seeking to see what we can do legally.”
James’ reference to “this illegitimate president” ends any doubt that she is politically motivated, not motivated by legitimate law enforcement concerns. The NY Attorney General’s Office has identified the political target, now it is searching for the crime.
James’ politicization of her Office doesn’t stop with Trump, his family or his businesses, she’s also going after a key Trump ally, the NRA, seeking to challenge its tax-exempt status:
… the N.R.A. faced a challenge from the New York attorney general, Letitia James, who had opened an investigation into the gun group’s tax-exempt status.
On Friday, Ms. James’s office sent letters instructing the N.R.A. and affiliated entities, including its charitable foundation, to preserve relevant financial records. Some of the N.R.A.’s related businesses also received subpoenas, according to people with knowledge of the inquiry. Both the attorney general’s office and a lawyer for the N.R.A. confirmed the investigation….
Even before her election last year, Ms. James had promised to investigate the organization’s tax status, and had told Ebony magazine that the N.R.A. held itself “out as a charitable organization” but was actually “a terrorist organization.”
The NRA and pro-Second Amendment groups are one of the few remaining sources of opposition. Located mostly in Republican-dominated Upstate New York, opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act gun control law is a dominant political issue. The NRA has helped with opposition to the SAFE Act, and the executive branch already has retaliated, leading to a pending lawsuit. So the NRA is a de facto political opponent of Cuomo and James, in addition to be viewed as being aligned with Trump, even though the NRA is non-partisan.
The Attorney General’s war on the NRA should be viewed as part and parcel of the war on Trump.
At the same time that the full force of the Attorney General’s Office is turned on Trump world, the state legislature has been co-opted into the war on Trump. When the State Senate was in Republican hands, there was a modicum of checks and balances. But since Democrats took control of the State Senate in 2018, there are no checks or anything to balance the use of the state apparatus to get Trump.
The State Senate is taking up a bill to facilitate U.S. House Democrats getting copies of Trump’s tax returns. Trump already has sued to protect his personal financial information from being turned over to Congress.
As previously NBC News reported, a bill has been introduced to allow the State of New York to turn over state income tax returns at the request of Congress:
As congressional Democrats begin what could be a tumultuous battle to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns, New York lawmakers are trying to make it easier for them to get their hands on the president’s state filings.
Legislators introduced a bill Monday that would amend the state law to permit the N.Y. Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner to release any state tax return requested by the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation for any “specific and legitimate legislative purpose.” The bill seeks to amend state laws which generally prohibit the release of such tax information.
It’s clear that this legislation specifically targets Trump, who has sued to prevent Congress from obtaining his personal financial information. The New York Law Journal reports:
Legislation that would allow U.S. Congress to request President Donald Trump’s state tax returns from an agency in New York and another measure that would allow state prosecutors to bring charges against individuals granted a presidential pardon is expected to pass the New York State Senate, Democrats in Albany said Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester, told reporters that both bills have the support of the conference and will come to the floor for a vote sometime in the near future, though the timing on that action is unclear at this point.
“I think we’re very concerned that the federal government, our colleagues in Congress, have an opportunity to make sure the information they need is available to them,” Stewart-Cousins said of Trump’s tax returns. “To the extent that we can or must be helpful, we are certainly willing to consider that and obviously, with the attorney general, things that would be helpful for her doing her job, we want to be able to help.” ….
It fits the mold for the type of action Trump could seek to block through litigation if it becomes law. Trump, late Monday, sought through a lawsuitto block two banks from cooperating with a subpoena from Democrats in Congress seeking information on his finances. Hoylman argued on Tuesday that Trump would have no legal grounds to sue over his bill, or any results thereof.
It’s said that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
In New York State, Democrats and #TheResistance to Trump have absolute power. Unless the Courts stop this abuse of that power, we will see absolute corruption of the state government apparatus to get a political enemy.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.