George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Friday that Democratic Attorney General Letitia James of New York was “hell bent” on destroying former President Donald Trump’s business empire.
New York Judge Arthur F. Engoron issued a ruling finding that Trump’s business was guilty of committing fraud Sept. 26, ordering Trump’s business licenses to be rescinded and seeking to dissolve Trump’s businesses, but the dissolution was placed on hold by an appeals court judge Friday. Trump has spoken out against the trial, calling it a “sham” and calling for Engoron to be disbarred. (RELATED: ‘She’s Politically Motivated’: Former Biden Surrogate Rips NY AG’s Comments)
“Those employees don’t really have a representative in court for their interest and there is also this question of just overkill,” Turley told “Ingraham Angle” guest host Kayleigh McEnany. “You know, there is evidence of overvaluing and undervaluing assets in this case. That has long been a problem in real estate.”
“But, putting that aside, one can understand under this New York law, which is really sweeping, that you could maintain this action. The question is why they are using the nuclear option,” Turley continued. “This is one of the largest corporations in New York, it employs a lot of people, it has iconic properties. It seems like the attorney general is hell bent on dissolving this corporation.”
Turley noted that Trump’s businesses were not the only entity that James had sought to dissolve.
“She did the same with the NRA,” Turley added. “She insisted that the leading Second Amendment organization in the country should simply be dissolved and That obviously thrills many in New York.”
James sued to dissolve the National Rifle Association in August 2020, claiming financial misconduct on the part of top officers of the gun-rights organization, including Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. During her 2018 campaign for attorney general, she had labeled the group a “terrorist organization” in an interview with Ebony magazine and vowing to “destroy” the group in a release from her campaign.
A state court judge blocked the dissolution of the organization in a March 2022 ruling.
“But people have to sit back and say okay, come on, let’s approach this with a mature and calm way,” Turley said. “If the undervalue and overvalued then there might be a penalty there, but to say that you are going to get hundreds of millions of dollars and dissolve one of the largest New York corporations, it’s pretty over the top when you look at past cases.”
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