Letitia James

Letitia James

Copyright Information: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Source of Photo: "1st Black Person Elected Attorney General of NY, Letitia James, Talks Career & Has Message for Trump" / Author of Photo: WBLS


  • Was elected NYS attorney general in 2018
  • Pledged to target & politically destroy President Trump when she ran for AG in 2018
  • Was elected NYC public advocate in 2013
  • Participated in a Communist Party banquet in 2011
  • Was elected to NY City Council on the Working Families Party ticket in 2003
  • Supports abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy
  • Views the National Rifle Association as a “terrorist organization”
  • Supports the right of biological males to compete in sports as transgender females


Letitia James was born on October 18, 1958 in Brooklyn, New York. One of eight siblings, she attended Fort Hamilton High School and graduated from Lehman College in 1982 with a B.A. degree in liberal arts. James subsequently earned a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law in 1987, and much later obtained a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 2013.

After completing law school, James started her legal career as a public defender in New York. She worked for the Legal Aid Society and founded an alliance called the Urban Network, a partnership of African American groups committed to funding college scholarships for inner-city students, particularly “students of color,” as James calls them. James also:

  • served as counsel for New York State Assemblyman Albert Vann, a Democrat who, according to The New York Times, “built a Black Power base in Brooklyn”;
  • worked as an assistant attorney general in the Brooklyn Regional Office of New York’s Democrat Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer; and
  • advised New York State Assemblyman Roger Green, also a Democrat.

Election to the New York City Council

James, a Democrat as well, ran for a seat on the New York City Council in 2001 but was defeated by police officer James E. Davis. But after Davis’ assassination in 2003, James, running on the Working Families Party (WFP) ticket, won election against Davis’ surviving brother and assumed the position of councilman for the city’s 35th District. Thus she became the first third-party candidate in three decades to win a spot on the New York City Council, and the first WFP nominee ever to do so. For her election victory, James credited her family’s support and the “legacy of African-Americans and women” who had “overcome greater obstacles.” She then rejoined the Democratic Party and went on to serve on the NY City Council for ten years, including a stint as chair of the Economic Development and Sanitation Committees.

Honoring Rosa Parks

On October 27, 2005 in Manhattan, James spoke at a news conference sponsored by New York City Council member Charles Barron and the Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC), an anti-war entity. The purpose of the news conference was to announce the introduction of a resolution that would designate December 1 as a day commemorating the 50th anniversary of the famous 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks, who had died on October 24, 2005. Dozens of community activists and City Council members were in attendance at the news conference. One of the more noteworthy speakers that day was Workers World Party leader Larry Holmes of TONC.

Feud with Barclay’s Bank Because of Its Alleged Ties to “Slave Trade” & “Apartheid”

In January 2007, James publicly opposed an effort by the London-based Barclays Bank to win the naming-rights deal associated with the new arena of the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets. Her objection, she explained, was rooted in the fact that the bank had once “financed the slave trade and supported the [South African] apartheid system.”

Failure to Pay $10,000 in Property Taxes

In April 2007, it was reported that James, who was earning approximately $122,500 as a City Council member, had failed to pay almost $10,000 in property taxes for her home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Founding Member of NY City Council Progressive Caucus

In March 2010, James was a founding member of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus. Another high-profile founding member was Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Pro-Abortion Stance

In February 2011, James denounced the presence of a Manhattan billboard bearing the message, “The Most Dangerous Place For An African American Is In The Womb” – a reference to black women’s statistical overrepresentation among those who undergo abortions. “It is misguided to use Black History Month as a tool to promote this message,” she declared. Alluding to pro-life activist Stephen Broden’s then-recent assertion that abortion was akin to “a genocidal plot,” James added: “Every woman has the right to make personal choices in regards to her body, and I respect many different points of view, but to compare abortion to terrorism and genocide is highly offensive.”

Ties to Communist Party USA

In 2011 as well, James participated in one of the New York Communist Party USA’s annual Better World Awards banquets.

Member of 2011 Panel Slated to Discuss Black Anti-Semitic Riots of 1991

In August 2011, James was scheduled to appear on a panel – at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, New York — discussing the infamous black riots against Jews that had occurred exactly 20 years earlier in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section.[1] The panel event was postponed, however, when it was announced that Al Sharpton — one of the main instigators of the 1991 riots — had been invited to participate in the discussion as well. (For details about the 1991 riots in Crown Heights, see Footnote #1.)

Praising Jay-Z’s Ties to Brooklyn Nets

In 2012, James praised the high-profile involvement that Brooklyn native and billionaire music mogul Jay-Z had established with the Brooklyn Nets, a franchise of which he had been a part-owner since 2003. “Bringing in someone who grew up in public housing, with a rags-to-riches story, who could identify with Brooklyn and African-Americans, that was slick,” said James.

Winning Election as NYC Public Advocate

In 2013, James secured the Democratic nomination for the office of New York City public advocate by winning the party’s runoff election over Daniel Squadron. Her campaign received wide-ranging support from the political left; among her noteworthy backers were Gloria Steinem, Linda Sarsour, Planned Parenthood, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Muslim Democratic Club of New York. James vowed that in her new position as public advocate, she would “continue to push for economic and social justice for all New Yorkers.” She then went on to capture nearly 84% of the vote in the November general election.

James’ Top Aide Commits Suicide

Also in November 2013, 57-year-old Alfred Chiodo, a top aide to James, was found hanged to death in his Brooklyn apartment.

Falsely Claiming to Have Influenced The New York Times’ Choice of Feature Story

On her first day as New York’s public advocate in January 2014, James falsely claimed that she herself, as part of her effort to draw public attention to the plight of poor people in the city, was at least partly responsible for The New York Times’ decision to feature a front-page story about a 12-year-old homeless girl named Dasani Coates. “I was aware of it and had a little bit something to do with it,” James said regarding the Times exposé. “And, in fact, I had established a task force on Auburn, and the conditions continued. And so we decided to work together to basically put on the front page of The New York Times the face of poverty in the City of New York.” An editor from the Times subsequently stated, however, that the paper had “never talked to Ms. James, nor was she [a] source for the story.” After her lie had been exposed, James quickly changed her story, issuing a statement that said: “I commend The New York Times for highlighting this important issue on their front page but, to be clear, I was not a source behind The New York Times’ feature on Dasani and did not intend to imply so.”

James Gets NYC Human Rights Commissioner Fired

In November 2014, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio fired Patricia Gatling, who had served as head of the city’s Commission on Human Rights since 2002, one day after receiving a letter from James asking him to do so. James’ letter insisted that the Commission was failing in its duty to aid the poor and minorities against discrimination, and called for the “immediate” appointment of “a new commissioner with an aggressive vision.”

Teaching a Sex-Ed Class to Brooklyn Senior Citizens

In August 2017, James taught a sex-education class to Brooklyn senior citizens. Distributing contraceptives, she warned the seniors about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV.

Successful Campaign for NYS Attorney General

In September 2018, James secured the Democratic nomination for New York State Attorney General. With the backing of Governor Andrew Cuomo, she won with 40% of the vote over challengers Zephyr Teachout and Sean Maloney.

In the November 2018 general election, James defeated Republican opponent Keith Wofford by a margin of more than 1.5 million votes, capturing 62.4% of all ballots cast.

Campaign Pledge to Target President Trump & Help Remove Him from Office

Throughout the 2018 political campaign season, James made it well known that she intended to aggressively target President Donald Trump in every way possible. Asserting that Trump was “an embarrassment to all that we stand for,” she vowed that as AG she would “never be afraid to challenge this illegitimate president when our fundamental rights are at stake.” “He should be charged with obstructing justice,” James added. “I believe that the president of these United States can be indicted for criminal offenses, and we would join with law enforcement and other attorneys general across this nation in removing this president from office.” Proclaiming that “the days of Donald Trump are coming to an end,” she petitioned for the New York state assembly to pass legislation that would enable her to press state charges against Trump allies whom the president might choose to pardon for criminal convictions at the federal level.

In the fall of 2018, James made it clear that she planned to investigate Trump’s finances and real estate holdings: “President Trump was almost on the verge of bankruptcy and then all of a sudden he was flush with money and we all know that domestic banks were not offering him – extending any credit to him and so the question is where did he get all of that money from.” Moreover, James pledged to determine whether Trump’s continuing interest in his New York-based businesses violated the U.S. Constitution’s “emoluments clauses.”

And James prepared to start her new duties as AG after winning the November 2018 general election, she again reiterated her obsession with prosecuting President Trump: “I will be shining a bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings, and every dealing, demanding truthfulness at every turn.”

James likewise told NBC News in December 2018 that “we will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well” – indeed, “to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.” Moreover, James went so far as to cite specifically some of the probes that she planned to pursue against Trump and his associates: (a) possible illegalities involving Trump’s New York real estate holdings; (b) the purpoe of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between three Trump campaign operatives and a Russian attorney; (c) U.S. government subsidies that Trump had received; (d) the possibility that Trump’s New York businesses may have placed him in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause; and (e) possible wrongdoing by the Trump Foundation.

Execution of the War on Trump

In March 2019, James announced that she had subpoenaed Investors Bank and Deutsche Bank for records of Trump’s various business transactions. According to the New York Post: “The Deutsche Bank subpoena seeks loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other records of financial transactions in connection to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the Trump National Doral in South Florida and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the New York Times reported…. Investors Bank, which is based in New Jersey, was asked for records connected to Trump Park Avenue. The AG has also requested records linked to Trump’s attempts to buy the Buffalo Bills [of the National Football League] in 2014.”

In November 2019, a New York state court ordered President Trump to pay $2 million in a lawsuit brought by James’ office, which charged that Trump personally had misappropriated money from his now-defunct charity, the Trump Foundation, to support his presidential campaign in 2016. CBS News reported that “the foundation’s current assets, $1.78 million, and the $2 million in damages will be distributed to various nonprofit groups, including the Children’s Aid Society, the United Negro College Fund and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.” A spokesperson for the Trump Foundation said, in turn:

“Since its inception in 1987, the Trump Foundation has distributed over $19 million to hundreds of worthwhile charities with little to no expenses. More than $9 million came directly from President Trump. Following the 2016 presidential election, the Trump Foundation publicly announced its intention to voluntarily dissolve and distribute all of its remaining funds to charity. Unfortunately, that donation was delayed due to the attorney general’s politically motivated lawsuit. We are pleased that the court, in rejecting the attorney general’s frivolous request for statutory penalties, interest and other damages, recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need.  Now that this matter is concluded, the Trump Foundation is proud to make this additional contribution.”

On August 10, 2022 — two days after FBI agents had raided Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, Florida — James and a lawyer from her office deposed Trump in a civil proceeding in which the former president was accused of having exaggerated the value of his assets by at least $3.6 billion per year in order to secure favorable loan-interest rates from banks. The following month, James filed a civil lawsuit against Trump, as well as his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and his daughter, Ivanka. A press release from James’ office read as follows:

“The lawsuit alleges that Donald Trump, with the help of his children Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, and senior executives at the Trump Organization, falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization on more favorable terms than would otherwise have been available to the company, to satisfy continuing loan covenants, to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums, and to gain tax benefits, among other things….

“As a consequence of these violations, OAG [Office of the Attorney General] is seeking, among other relief, to: 1) permanently bar Mr. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York state; 2) bar Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization from entering into any New York real estate acquisitions for five years; 3) award disgorgement of all financial benefits obtained through the persistent fraudulent practices, estimated to total $250 million….

“For too long, powerful, wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rules do not apply to them. Donald Trump stands out as among the most egregious examples of this misconduct…. There are not two sets of laws for people in this country; we must hold former presidents to the same standards as everyday Americans. I will continue to ensure that no one is able to evade the law, because no one is above it.”

As the New York Post reported on September 8, 2023: “The lawsuit aims to force Trump to pay back to the state millions in penalties, halt Trump’s ability to run businesses in New York, and bar him and his team from buying commercial property for several years. James has also urged the court to sanction Trump’s legal team $20,000 for making ‘frivolous’ arguments.

The illogic of James’ allegations against Trump was spelled out by Jack Hellner in the American Thinker:

“If the Trumps committed bank fraud, as James says, they [the banks] would have sued him and filed a criminal referral on him, but they did not. The state was not a victim, nor the bank, nor the citizens of New York, so why is she [Ms. James] suing? Well, either she’s extremely dimwitted or the move is purely for political reasons.

“Voters should never vote for any politician who seems to believe that a man can walk into a bank, claim to be worth billions, ask for a loan for hundreds of millions based on his word, and the banker just writes a check with no due diligence.

“The bank gets independent appraisals, evaluates financial statements, reviews tax returns, and takes whatever steps necessary to protect its regulators and owners to ensure the borrowers have the cash flow capacity to pay back the loan. Due diligence may be a foreign concept to politicians, but the regulators would put severe restrictions on banks that didn’t do their job. How could an attorney general not know this?

“James says Trump overvalued his properties to save money on insurance.  How exactly did that work? I believe that the more property is worth, the higher the cost of insurance.

“I didn’t know she was an expert on valuations. She said Mar-a-Lago was worth only $75 million instead of the over $700 million figure the Trumps cited. She essentially multiplied cash flow times three to get that evaluation. It shows a great deal of economic illiteracy to pretend that Palm Springs property values are based on cash flow.”

On February 16, 2024, Judge Arthur Engoron fined Trump and the Trump Organization approximately $454 million in total penalties — consiting of $355 million in disgorgement and more than $98 million in prejudgment interest at an annual rate of 9 percent — and barred Trump from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for a period of three years. Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called the ruling “confiscatory, extreme, and abusive.” In addition, NBC News reported: “The judge fined Donald Trump’s children as well…. Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump’s adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, liable for a host of civil fraud counts in New York, including issuing false financial statements, falsifying business records and conspiracy. He ordered them each to pay $4 million for their personal profits from the fraud. In addition, Engoron fined former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg $1 million.”

In late February 2024, James, in an effort to taunt the former president, began posting on X (formerly Twitter) the additional interest that had accrued on Trump’s fine with each passing day. In an interview with ABC News, she stated: “If he does not have funds to pay off the judgment, then we will seek judgment enforcement mechanisms in court, and we will ask the judge to seize his assets.” One such asset, she said, was Trump’s building on 40 Wall Street in New York City: “We are prepared to make sure that the judgment is paid to New Yorkers, and yes, I look at 40 Wall Street each and every day.”

Discussion of “Voter Suppression” & “Women’s Reproductive Rights”

In April 2019 at Howard University, James joined Donna Brazile for a discussion about: (a) the problem of so-called “voter suppression,” a term the AG used to describe election-integrity measures like voter ID laws; and (b) the need to protect “women’s reproductive rights” – i.e., taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy.

Portraying the NRA as a “Terrorist Organization” & Filing Lawsuit Against It

In April 2019 as well, James’ office launched an investigation into the National Rifle Association (NRA), whose tax-exempt status with the IRS had been criticized by the leftwing organization Everytown for Gun Safety. By no means was this the first time that James had demonstrated hostility toward the NRA. For example, in a July 2018 press release by her campaign for Attorney General, James vowed to “target the NRA” and “investigate the legitimacy of the NRA as a charitable institution.” “The NRA is an organ of deadly propaganda masquerading as a charity for public good,” she added. And on October 31, 2018 – a week before her election victory as New York’s AG – she told Ebony magazine: “The NRA holds [itself] out as a charitable organization, but in fact, [it] really [is] a terrorist organization.”

In August 2020, James sued the NRA on charges alleging that its senior management had misappropriated millions of dollars on personal extravagances like private jets, costly meals, and family trips. “It’s clear that the NRA has been failing to carry out its stated mission for many, many years and instead has operated as a breeding ground for greed, abuse and brazen illegality,” she said at a news conference. “Enough was enough. We needed to step in and dissolve this corporation.”

On March 2, 2022, New York State Court Justice Joel Cohen ruled that James could not dissolve the NRA, and that the AG’s “complaint does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the ‘corporate death penalty.’” The judge did say, however, that James could continue to pursue the removal of Wayne LaPierre from his post as the NRA’s chief executive officer. In response to Cohen’s ruling, James released a statement that said: “Today, the court affirmed my office’s right to pursue its long-standing claims that fraud, abuse, and greed permeate through the NRA and its senior leadership. While we’re heartened that the judge rejected the NRA’s attempts to thwart most of the claims in our case against the NRA, we are disappointed that the judge ruled against the dissolution portion of the case. We are considering our legal options with respect to this ruling.”

On February 23, 2024, a jury in New York found the NRA’s CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre liable for $5.4 million. In addition, the Daily Caller reported: “The jury also ruled against former NRA Treasurer Woody Phillips and current NRA Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer, but did not find them liable financially…. A six-person jury found that LaPierre, Phillips and Frazer failed to properly manage the group’s assets.”

Opposing the Inclusion of a Citizenship Question on U.S. Census Forms

In June 2019, James supported the Supreme Court’s decision to prevent the Trump administration from including, on the 2020 U.S. Census form, a question concerning the citizenship of each respondent. “This one question could have caused a substantial undercount, particularly of noncitizens and Latinos,” she stated. “Thanks to the court, the census will remain a tool for delivering on our government’s promise of fairness and equity.”

Demanding That Illegal Aliens be Counted as Residents for Purposes of Allocating Electoral College Votes

In August 2019, James led an effort to prevent Democrat-controlled states from possibly losing Electoral College votes and congressional seats should illegal aliens not be counted as residents by the U.S. Census. Said the AG in a written statement:

“No individual ceases to be a person because they lack documentation. The United States Constitution is crystal clear that every person residing in this country at the time of the decennial census — regardless of legal status — must be counted, and no matter what President Trump says, or Alabama does, that fact will never change. So we are intervening in this case and taking on the role of defendant because the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution deserve better than a halfhearted and inadequate defense. We will continue to lead this fight because, despite the Trump Administration’s previous racist and xenophobic attempts to tip the balance of power in the nation and Alabama’s endeavor to continue down that path, we will never stop fighting to ensure every person counts.”

Pledge to Endorse only Pro-Abortion Political Candidates

In November 2019, James was a key spokesperson for the Democratic Attorneys General Association’s newly-announced pledge to endorse only political candidates who unequivocally supported women’s right to abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy. James narrated a video announcement about DAGA’s pledge, in which she said: “The majority of Americans support the right to access abortion. It’s your BODY, your FAMILY, your DECISION & your VOTE. Democratic AGs are on the front lines in the fight to protect reproductive rights. If they stand with us, they stand with you. Join us.” James further said in a statement: “Especially in this current political climate, where a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body is under relentless assault, we must persist and redouble our efforts. That’s why as Democratic Attorneys General, we are taking a clear stand on the issue ensuring that we elect Attorneys General to our team who share our pro-choice values.”

James Calls for Investigation & Overhaul of NYPD

After the infamous May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd set off widespread rioting and looting by Black Lives Matter and other leftwing agitators during the weeks that followed, James called for an overhaul of the New York Police Department and launched an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by NYPD law-enforcement officers. That July, James’ office published a 57-page preliminary report that included recommendations such as: (a) the establishment of an independent commission to manage the department; (b) a clearly defined policy regulating police use-of-force; (c) a “model [that] takes unilateral power away from the Police Commissioner and ensures that the police are accountable to the public”; and (d) the decriminalization of “minor offenses,” with “the goal of reducing negative contact with the police, particularly in communities of color.” “It is impossible to deny that many New Yorkers have lost faith in law enforcement,” said James at a news conference announcing the findings spelled out in her report. “Progress cannot and should not wait,” she added. “We must begin the hard role of re-evaluating the role of police in society.”

Advising the NYPD to End Traffic Stops for Minor Infractions

In September 2020, the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit of James’ office issued a report advising that the NYPD cease making traffic stops for minor infractions, on the theory that such a policy change would prevent potentially deadly escalations between police and civilians. According to Fox News: “The report also highlighted studies demonstrating disparities in the use of force [by police] during traffic stops involving Black and Latino men.”

Compiling a List of Trump Initiatives for President Biden to Terminate

In October 2020, James said that her office was preparing a “long” list of Trump-administration initiatives that Joe Biden, if he were to win the presidential election, ought to terminate or reverse. “We’ll have a team of individuals, again, working on reversing all of the bad regulations and laws that have been put forth,” she stated. “…We will work with the Biden administration to ask them to file stays in a number of cases that are pending in the courts all across this country.” James also said that she and other Democrat attorneys general were weighing “legal options to determine what action, if any” they should pursue in the event that a Biden victory might be challenged in the courts.

Condemning Trump’s Allegations of Election Fraud

Days after the November 2020 presidential election — with the winner still undetermined — James condemned President Trump’s accusations of widespread election fraud against his campaign. “Regardless of Trump’s inflammatory, misleading, and divisive rhetoric,” the AG declared, “Americans across the country should be assured that this election was administered fairly and securely by state officials of both major political parties.”

Suing the NYPD for Mistreating George Floyd Protestors

In January 2021, James sued the NYPD for its alleged mishandling of the 2020 George Floyd riots, claiming: “There is no question that the NYPD engaged in a pattern of excessive, brutal, and unlawful force against peaceful protestors”: “Over the past few months, the NYPD has repeatedly and blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers, inflicting significant physical and psychological harm and leading to great distrust in law enforcement. With today’s lawsuit, this longstanding pattern of brutal and illegal force ends. No one is above the law — not even the individuals charged with enforcing it.”

Said the complaint by James’ office in its Preliminary Statement:

  1. The People of the State of New York, by their Attorney General, Letitia James, bring this action to end the pervasive use of excessive force and false arrests by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) against New Yorkers in suppressing overwhelmingly peaceful protests.
  2. Beginning in May 2020, thousands of New Yorkers participated in protests across New York City … to bring attention to police brutality against Black people, the police killings of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, police accountability, and racial injustice (the “2020 Racial Justice Protests” or “Protests”). These protests are ongoing.
  3. From May 28, 2020 to December 11, 2020, NYPD Officers of various ranks … repeatedly and without justification used batons, fist strikes, pepper spray, and other physical force against New York Residents at the Protests. Protesters—many of whom were never charged with any crime and were merely exercising their First Amendment rights—suffered concussions, broken bones, cuts, bruises, and other physical injuries.
  4. NYPD Officers also arrested legal observers, medics, and other workers performing essential services without probable cause and used a crowd-control tactic called “kettling” to corral and detain individuals who were peacefully protesting in order to impede constitutionally protected assemblies and to conduct mass arrests.
  5. The unlawful policing practices Officers engaged in at these Protests are not new. Instead, they are the latest manifestation of the NYPD’s unconstitutional policing practices. For at least the last two decades, the NYPD has engaged in the same unlawful excessive force and false arrest practices while policing large-scale protests. […]
  6. Even though these practices were well-known before the 2020 Racial Justice Protests began, Defendants failed to train officers in policing protests to correct and prevent this misconduct […]
  7. When Defendants, starting in May 2020, chose to dispatch thousands of inadequately trained officers to large-scale protests challenging police conduct and authority, the results were predictable: mass arrests, excessive force, and other unlawful efforts to suppress the Protests.
  8. These practices, which violate New York Residents’ rights under the federal and state constitutions and state common law, have caused significant harm to New York Residents.

Supporting the Police Accountability Act

In May 2021, James advocated for the Police Accountability Act (PAA) which, according to the AG, sought to “amend New York’s law that justifies police use of force, which currently sets an exceedingly high standard for prosecuting police officers who have improperly used deadly or excessive force.” Specifically, said James, the PAA would raise the threshold for police use-of-force “from one of simple necessity to one of absolute last resort, mandating that police officers only use force after all other alternatives have been exhausted.” “For far too long,” she added, “police officers in this country have been able to evade accountability for the unjustified use of excessive and lethal force.”

Calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to Resign

In August 2021, James, after conducting an investigation which concluded that at least 11 women had credibly accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, joined other prominent Democrat leaders in calling for Cuomo to resign. A 165-page report that James’ office released on August 3 said the following in its Executive Summary:

“We, the investigators appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, conclude that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law. Specifically, we find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women. Our investigation revealed that the Governor’s sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his own staff, but extended to other State employees, including a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public. We also conclude that the Executive Chamber’s culture—one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment.”

Cuomo would eventually urge the New York Supreme Court to investigate James for allegedly manipulating the probe against him in order to boost her own chances of becoming the next governor of the state. In a letter to Jorge Dopico, a chief attorney of the New York Supreme Court’s Attorney Grievance Committee, Cuomo claimed that James’ aforementioned August 3, 2021 press conference “was meant to be prejudicial and highly inflammatory, and to villainize me in the public eye, and to mislead the public and the press that I had sexually harassed eleven women, which simply was not true.”

James’ Campaign for NYS Governor

In October 2021, James announced her candidacy for New York’s upcoming gubernatorial race. “I’ve spent my career guided by a simple principle: stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable, to be a force for change,” she said in a campaign video. Her campaign received the backing of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Supporting a Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate

On December 6, 2021, James endorsed New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to impose a coronavirus vaccine mandate for all employees of private businesses in the city. “I support a vaccine mandate with a testing option, but why are we still doing this piecemeal?” James said in a statement. “A mandate alone won’t get us out of the crisis particularly when it’s implemented without input from employees and employers. Science tells us we need everyone to wear a mask in public settings; accessible at-home testing’ and real public health outreach to our communities. This cannot be done municipality by municipality. New York state must finally lead.”

Gubernatorial Campaign Ends in Failure

On December 9, 2021, James abruptly suspended her gubernatorial campaign, reportedly due to lackluster fundraising. “I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general,” she said in a statement. “There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job. I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do.”

Allowing Citizens to Sue Gun Manufacturers

During a December 14, 2021 appearance on ABC’s The View, James voiced support for Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent proposal to allow private citizens to sue gun manufacturers and distributors for damages that those weapons may inflict on the citizens. “Last the Supreme Court refused to block a Texas law that allows everyday citizens to sue abortion providers,” said co-host Sarah Haines. “Then California Governor Newsom wants to take that law and flip it and allow citizens in his state to sue assault weapon and ghost gun providers. Would you do something like this? is it an effective legal strategy?” James replied:

“The answer is yes. When I heard about that, I said to my team we need to follow his lead. The reason why that is, is because gun manufacturers and gun distributors in this country are immunized. No liability whatsoever. They’re the only industry that is protected in this country, and given the carnage and given the fact that this is the ninth anniversary of Sandy Hook, I am sick and tired of prayers and individuals whose hearts go out to all of those who have lost lives. We can do something about it. What we need to do is hold these gun manufacturers and these gun distributors liable.”

She then added, “We are reviewing it and talking to California, and so this is a first. Yes, The Office of Attorney General Letitia James is looking at that model, and I congratulate Governor Newsom.”

Emphasizing Her Pro-Abortion Stance, James Says She Once Had an Abortion

In anticipation of the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, James told a group of pro-choice protestors on May 4, 2022: “We will not go backward. No judge of the Supreme Court can dictate to me or to you how to use your body.” She also announced that nearly two decades earlier, she herself “chose to have an abortion.” “I was just elected and I was faced with the decision of whether to have an abortion or not, and I chose to have an abortion,” James explained. “I walked proudly into Planned Parenthood, and I make no apologies to anyone.”

James Hosts “Drag Story Hour Read-A-Thon”

On March 19, 2023, James “stood proudly in unwavering support of the LGBTQ+ community” by hosting a “Drag Story Hour Read-A-Thon for families in New York City” attended by approximately 200 people. Mayor Eric Adams applauded the event, claiming that “drag storytellers, and the organizations that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that are core to what our city embraces.” A press release from James’ office noted that the event was held to “condemn hate and combat rampant disinformation.” “I am proud to have been joined by my colleagues in advocacy and government today in celebration of the love, joy, and family fun that Drag Story Hour brings to our communities,” said James. “Hate has no home in New York, and I will always fight to ensure our LGBTQ+ siblings’ rights are upheld and defended.”

Gun-Buyback Program

In April 2023, James hosted New York State’s first-ever “gun buyback” program. “This one-day statewide initiative will feature nine simultaneous gun buyback events held across the state, at which the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will accept — with no questions asked — working and non-working, unloaded firearms in exchange for compensation on site,” a press release said. When the buyback initiative was over, James tweeted that the state had “recovered 3,076 guns today, including 185 assault weapons.” “Every single one of these guns represents a potential tragedy averted,” she added.

Demanding the Repeal of Executive Order Barring Biological Males from Competing in Sports as Females

James denounced an executive order issued on February 22, 2024 by New York’s Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman barring transgender women and girls – i.e., biological males – from competing as females in athletic events held at county-run facilities like parks, baseball fields, basketball courts, swimming pools and ice rinks. All local teams, leagues, organizations, and programs would now be required to “expressly designate” participation based on their “biological sex at birth.”

On March 1, 2024, James sent a cease-and-desist letter to Blakeman demanding that he repeal his “transphobic and blatantly illegal” executive order within five days because it was “in clear violation” of state law. “The law is perfectly clear: you cannot discriminate against a person because of their gender identity or expression,” said James. “We have no room for hate or bigotry in New York.” “Nassau County must immediately rescind the order,” she warned, “or we will not hesitate to take decisive legal action.”

On March 6, 2024, Nassau County Executive Blakeman filed a federal lawsuit against James, arguing that the attorney general’s “cease-and-desist” letter violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Said the lawsuit: “The defendants’ reliance upon and application of the New York Human Rights Law violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution . . . the Human Rights Law is unconstitutional because it elevates transgender women to a level not recognized by Federal law in the athletics context all to the detriment of girls and women, which are federally recognized.”

Firefighters Boo James at NYC Ceremony

When James spoke at a swearing-in ceremony for New York City Fire Department (FDNY) personnel, those in attendance showered her with boos. “Oh, c’mon, we’re in a house of God,” James responded. “Simmer down. Thank you for getting it out of your system.” But soon after the boos stopped, loud chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” broke out from the crowd.


  1. In the summer of 1991, Al Sharpton injected himself into the unrest that followed an August 19 incident where a Hasidic Jewish driver named Yosef Lifsh had accidentally run over and killed a 7-year-old black boy named Gavin Cato in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. Jewish Star reporter/columnist Jeff Dunetz describes the sequence of events that occurred immediately after the child’s death:

    “A false rumor began to spread that the Hasidic ambulance crew had ignored the dying black child in favor of treating the Jewish men. This falsehood was later used by Al Sharpton to incite the crowd. Other rumors sprang up; some said Lifsh was intoxicated (breath alcohol test administered by the police proved his sobriety). More falsehoods circulated [stating that] Lifsh did not have a valid driver’s license; [that] he went through a red light; [that] the police prevented people including Gavin Cato’s father, from assisting in the rescue…. Ignited by the falsehoods, resentment exploded into violence. Groups of young black men threw rocks, bottles and debris at police, residents and homes. According to the New York Times, more than 250 neighborhood residents went on a rampage that first night, mostly black teenagers, many of whom were shouting ‘Jews! Jews! Jews!’

    “Three hours after the tragic crash, 29-year-old Australian Jewish scholar Yankel Rosenbaum was attacked by a gang of Black teens. He was stabbed four times. Cops quickly arrested Lemrick Nelson, who was identified by Rosenbaum as his attacker. Rosenbaum’s wounds were not fatal; he was expected to recover. Mayor Dinkins visited Rosenbaum at the hospital. But Rosenbaum died at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday because the hospital staff missed one of his knife wounds. Despite some claims, Al Sharpton had nothing to do with the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum.

    “Sharpton was out of town on the first night of the riot, he took over on day two. The next evening, according to the sworn testimony of Efraim Lipkind, a former Hasidic resident of Crown Heights, Sharpton started agitating the crowd: ‘Then we had a famous man, Al Sharpton, who came down, and he said Tuesday night, kill the Jews, two times. I heard him, and he started to lead a charge across the street to Utica.’”

    Stirred, in part, by Sharpton’s contentious anger, hundreds of Crown Heights blacks took to the streets for three days and nights of violent rioting. Sharpton reacted to the chaos by repeatedly shouting the mantra, “No justice, no peace!” “We must not reprimand our children for outrage,” he declared, “when it is the outrage that was put in them by an oppressive system.”

    Years later, Norman Rosenbaum, brother of the murdered Yankel Rosenbaum, reflected on the events of August 1991: “Based on everything we have seen and read, Sharpton never called upon the rioters to stop their anti-Semitism-inspired violence. He never called on the rioters to go home.” Rosenbaum elaborated: “The riots were the product of anti-Semites taking advantage of the tragic death of a child to justify inflicting their violence on innocent people — the Jewish community of Crown Heights — and murdering Yankel Rosenbaum, a Jew from Australia, amid the cries of ‘Kill the Jew!’”

    Notwithstanding the mass violence that had engulfed Crown Heights in the wake of Gavin Cato’s death, Sharpton, delivering the eulogy at the boy’s funeral on August 26, persisted with his racially charged rhetoric. He told the mourners, for instance, that it was not merely a car accident that had killed the child, but rather the “social accident” of “an apartheid [Jewish] ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights” that allegedly did not care enough to do everything in its power to help black victims in need. Added Sharpton: “Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid…. All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no coffee klatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’. Pay for your deeds.”

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