New York state Attorney General Letitia James at a news conference in August last year.


Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The New York attorney general’s office’s investigation of former President

Donald Trump’s

business now has a criminal component, a spokesman said Tuesday night, joining the Manhattan district attorney’s office probe and expanding a monthslong inquiry that had been focused on civil fraud.

“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” said

Fabien Levy,

a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into possible bank fraud and other potential crimes. Separately, the top local prosecutor in the Atlanta area is probing whether Mr. Trump improperly tried to influence election officials last year.

In a statement Wednesday, Mr. Trump again called the investigation by New York Attorney General

Letitia James,

a Democrat, a partisan witch hunt. “There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here,” Mr. Trump’s statement said.

The New York attorney general’s civil investigation became public last August, when the office said it was looking into whether the Trump Organization and President Trump improperly inflated the value of Mr. Trump’s assets in financial filings. Attorney general’s office investigators have probed several Trump properties, including his sprawling upstate New York estate Seven Springs, a Financial District skyscraper at 40 Wall St., and Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, a hotel and residential complex, according to court filings.

The New York attorney general has limited capacity to investigate crimes. Its criminal investigatory authority extends to the sale of securities, labor-law violations and Medicaid fraud, among other matters. It can also be asked to investigate crimes by the head of several New York state agencies, including the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Write to Michael Amon at [email protected]

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Appeared in the May 19, 2021, print edition as ‘Criminal Probe Is Opened Into Trump’s Business.’


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