U.S.

Who Is Letitia James? Incoming New York Attorney General Plans Massive Investigation of Donald Trump and Family

The New York attorney general-elect has unveiled plans to launch a large-scale investigation into President Donald Trump.

Letitia James, who will replace Barbara Underwood on January 1, 2019, vowed to probe not only Trump but also his family and any of his associates who might have violated the law.

Related: Trump “stormed out” after meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, hurling papers everywhere 

Her plans include an investigation over the meeting between a Russian official and three senior members of the Trump campaign—Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort—held at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Both the Trump Foundation and whether the president has violated the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution through his New York businesses are also expected to come under the spotlight.

James also indicated she intends to probe government subsidies received by the president, as well as any illegal activities that might involve Trump’s real estate holdings in New York City. The last two points are also part of a wide-ranging investigation that The New York Times first disclosed in October.

"We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well," James was quoted as saying by NBC News.

"We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law."

The 60-year-old Democrat, who graduated from Howard University, in Washington, D.C., with a law degree, became the first African-American woman to be elected to the position of New York Attorney General when she won the race last month.

A lawyer, activist and politician, James was the first black woman to hold citywide office, having served as the New York City Public Advocate from January 2014.

The Brooklyn native campaigned on passing a bill to change the state’s double jeopardy laws. She told NBC she remains intent to ensure the state can press charges against anyone the president were to pardon over federal charges whose alleged crimes took place in New York.

To do so, however, she will have to change the current law.

"I think within the first 100 days this bill will be passed," she explained.

"It is a priority because I have concerns with respect to the possibility that this administration might pardon some individuals who might face some criminal charges, but I do not want them to be immune from state charges."

James, who in September won the Democratic primary for attorney general of New York with 40.6 percent of the votes, had been endorsed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The New York attorney general-elect admitted investigating President Trump would be a task bigger than any she has faced throughout her career so far.

New York is where Trump’s presidential campaign and his re-election campaign are based and it is also the headquarter of the president’s namesake business.

"Taking on President Trump and looking at all of the violations of law I think is no match to what I have seen in my lifetime," she said.

Letitia James, New York Attorney General New York City Public Advocate Letitia James speaks to public housing residents and their supporters during a rally to demand New York City Housing Authority conditions be improved, outside City Hall, in New York, on February 15, 2017. James vowed to investigate the president, his family and his real estate holdings in New York. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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