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The office of New York state Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement to Fox News on Tuesday night, confirming a change in its investigation of the Trump Organization.
The case has now become a criminal investigation after initially being a civil matter, the statement said.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” James spokesman Fabien Levy wrote in a statement to Fox News.
“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment at this time.”
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James’ office has been investigating possible violations by the Trump Organization over the way it has valued its holdings as it has sought tax breaks and loans, WABC-TV of New York City reported.
The Trump Organization was already informed about the status change for the investigation in late April, The Washington Post reported.
If the investigation results in any criminal charges, those charges would be brought forth by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, not James’ state office, WABC reported.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference at her office in New York City in an undated photo. (Associated Press)
Both James and Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. are Democrats. Vance’s office has been investigating the Trump Organization since 2018, the Post reported.
As James’ office pursued civil charges, the potential risk to the Trump Organization was believed to be only financial. But the change in status to a criminal case raises the possibility of other penalties for any Trump Organization officials, should they be convicted of a crime, the Post reported.
The Manhattan DA’s office declined to comment to WABC on the matter, according to the station.
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The Trump Organization also declined to comment. The organization has previously denied any wrongdoing, the Post reported.
Eric Trump, a son of former President Donald Trump, declined to comment but sent to the Post a video montage of past statements James has made about his father, including calling him an “illegitimate president,” the Post reported.
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In another clip, James says, “We’re definitely going to sue him. … He’s going to know my name personally.”
James’ office is also investigating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, over allegations that include sexually harassing woman and misusing state resources to produce a memoir.
Cuomo also has denied any wrongdoing.
Fox News’ Maria Paronich contributed to this story.