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Trump’s worst legal nightmare isn’t Robert Mueller: Meet Letitia James

The president isn’t prepared for what’s coming.

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The blue wave that came with the 2018 midterms was bad for President Donald Trump not only because Democrats obtained a majority in the House of Representatives (with a net gain of 40 seats) and picked up more than 350 seats in state legislatures around the United States—they were also bad for the president because of a Brooklyn native named Letitia James. On November 6, the 60-year-old Democrat was elected attorney general for New York State. And James has made it abundantly clear that after she starts her new job in January, she will launch comprehensive investigations of Trump, his family and his business associates.

In 2019, Trump’s legal headaches at the federal level will include Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russiagate investigation, the investigations of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the new Democratic House of Representatives—which will be able to launch all kinds of investigative committees and subpoenas. But the election of James in November presents a different type of legal headache for Trump, his family and his associates: one at the state level.

As president of the United States, Trump enjoys certain executive powers—including the power to issue pardons for federal crimes. The people Trump has pardoned so far at the federal level range from Scooter Libby to former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for his unconstitutional tactics against undocumented immigrants. But the key word with the Libby and Arpaio pardons is “federal”: Trump had the power to pardon them for federal crimes—and he has the power to grant Paul Manafort (his former campaign manager) a presidential pardon for tax fraud, bank fraud and all the other crimes he has been convicted of. But Trump does not have the power to issue presidential pardons for criminal convictions in individual states, including any that might come about in 2019 in New York State. And James obviously plans to keep her staff very busy next year.

James, in a recent interview with NBC News, was quite specific about the things she plans to investigate—including whether or not Trump’s business interests in New York City represent a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, which restricts presidents and other federal politicians from receiving gifts or payments from foreign powers (for example, the Russian government).

James has said that she plans to investigate the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York City that was attended by Manafort, the Trump Organization’s Jared Kushner (who is married to the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump) and Donald Trump, Jr. as well as Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and others. And New York State’s incoming attorney general also noted that she will be investigating Trump’s real estate holdings in NYC for potential illegalities.

James told NBC News, “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well…. We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

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Further, James has asserted that she would like to pursue state charges against any Trump associates who are pardoned for federal crimes allegedly committed in New York State. Presently, James might have difficulty doing that because of a double jeopardy law in New York State. But in the midterms, she campaigned on modifying that law—and doing so, James told NBC News, “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 has been crystal clear on her view of Mueller’s investigation. Mueller, she asserted during her NBC News interview, is “doing an excellent job.”

And in 2019—if she conducts even half of the Trump-related investigations she has talked about—the president’s critics are likely to be saying the same thing about Letitia James.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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Trump accuses newspaper of ‘virtual act of treason’ for reporting on a story that made him look awful

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President Donald Trump attacked an American newspaper for reporting a story that made him look bad.

"Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. (sic) This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country ... also, not true," the commander-in-chief tweeted on Saturday evening.

"Anything goes with our corrupt news media today," Trump argued.

"They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence," he continued.

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