The political witch hunt that followed Donald Trump throughout his presidency is showing no signs of going away now that he’s out of office.
With Trump hinting at another run at the presidency, Democratic prosecutors in his hometown of New York are tightening the screws. According to the Associated Press, New York state Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her long-standing civil investigation of Trump’s business interests is now a criminal probe.
No reason given for escalation
The news, while dramatic, came with no detail about what prompted the escalation. James gave a terse statement, saying her office “informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the company is no longer purely civil in nature.”
“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” her spokesperson said, according to the AP.
James and Manhattan’s District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., both Democrats, have been engaged in a years-long fishing expedition scrutinizing Trump’s finances.
The Vance probe originated in 2018 with a now-arcane controversy over Stormy Daniels and Trump’s “hush money” payments to the porn actor, and James started her own investigation in early 2019.
That they are now converging is an unusual development, with The Washington Post calling collaboration between the offices “rare.” The coordination certainly seems far from coincidental.
“The greatest witch hunt in history”
In a statement, Trump ripped the new criminal probe as a “continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of the United States,” after he spent about half of his presidency embattled by the bogus claim that he was secretly an agent of Russia.
“After prosecutorial efforts the likes of which nobody has ever seen before, they failed to stop me in Washington, so they turned it over to New York to do their dirty work,” the former president said.
Democrats, Trump claimed, are resorting to politically repressive tactics seen in “third world” countries to stop him from running for the White House again. He also slammed James, who has aligned herself closely with “the Resistance,” as a partisan with an ax to grind, noting she has been threatening to pursue him since her political campaign three years ago.
“If you can run for a prosecutor’s office pledging to take out your enemies, and be elected to that job by partisan voters who wish to enact political retribution, then we are no longer a free constitutional democracy,” the former president opined.
For years, liberal partisans chanted that the “walls were closing in” on Trump, only to see those hopes dashed by reality. Could they finally get their wish?