• Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

N.Y. attorney general developing ‘long’ list of Trump actions for Biden to undo

New York Attorney General Letitia James says her office is preparing a substantial list of legal actions for a potential Biden administration to begin quickly reversing Trump administration initiatives, she told NBC News in an interview.

“We’re preparing a list. And the list is long,” she said Thursday. “We’ll have a team of individuals, again, working on reversing all of the bad regulations and laws that have been put forth … We will work with the Biden administration to ask them to file stays in a number of cases that are pending in the courts all across this country.”

James, a leading Democratic state attorney general, said she and her colleagues are also reviewing “legal options to determine what action, if any” state attorneys general will take should the election results be contested.

Oct. 29, 202002:33

In her second year as the top law enforcement official in New York, James has battled the Trump administration on everything from environmental regulations and immigration enforcement to its handling of the census. More recently, she’s been involved in litigation over Postal Service slowdowns.

Meanwhile, because of the Trump Organization’s footprint in New York City, James has been at the forefront of legal action against President Donald Trump’s family business.

Her office’s yearslong probe into Trump’s charitable foundation led to its dissolution. More recently, her investigation into whether the president’s business had inflated the value of its assets for the purposes of tax breaks and loans came to a head earlier this month when Eric Trump, the president’s son and an executive at his business, sat for a pre-election deposition.

The younger Trump had pushed back on having to testify before the election, but after a judge ruled against his effort, he agreed to sit for questioning on whether the Trump Organization had committed fraud. He called the legal effort “a continued political vendetta.”

James said she could not get into the details of his testimony, adding, “We’re in the midst of discovery and they’re handing over documents and that is ongoing.”

As for Eric Trump’s claim of political bias — something the president has repeatedly claimed about James and her predecessors in the office — the attorney general said she doesn’t “pay a lot of attention to all the noise and all the critics.”

“I keep hearing this. I know Eric Trump has accused me of bias. The NRA have accused me of bias,” she said, acknowledging a separate high-profile case her office is in the midst of with the National Rifle Association. “A number of elected officials have accused me of bias. Some Republican attorneys general have accused me of political bias. I just put my head down and just go to work.”

“Again, politics is not an issue that I will tolerate in my office,” she said. “It’s based on allegations, primarily from individuals within the Trump administration who have come forward, and laid bare a pattern of illegality and misconduct, which requires an investigation on the part of regulators, i.e., the New York State Office of Attorney General.”

She pointed to the Trump Organization investigation her office has ongoing having stemmed from allegations made by the president’s convicted former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who leveled such allegations of asset valuation malfeasance while testifying before Congress in early 2019.

As for rumors she may run for mayor of New York City or governor of the state, James said she had “no comment.”

“But you know that it’s no secret, I was considering running for mayor when this opportunity availed itself, and here I am as the attorney general,” she said. “That’s not something that I was focused on or planning on.”

“There’s a phrase that my mother used to say and that is, ‘You plan and God laughs,'” she added. “So, I’m no longer planning. I’m just working.”