NY AG Letitia James Becomes the First to Make the Impossible Happen, Puts Trump on the Witness Stand

NY AG Letitia James Becomes the First to Make the Impossible Happen, Puts Trump on the Witness Stand
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | (L) Photo by Jemal Countess ; (R) Photo by Photo by Eduardo Munoz

To many in the Democratic Party base, questioning former President Donald Trump on a witness stand is a fantasy come true. It was made possible by Attorney General Letitia James of New York. For James, a Democrat who was first elected in 2018, Trump taking the stand is a touchstone moment in her career. On November 5, Trump testified as a crucial witness in the civil fraud case her office is conducting against him and his commercial empire. “It’s probably the most visible case ever brought by the state attorney general’s office,” former state Attorney General Bob Abrams said to POLITICO

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Dave Sanders
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Dave Sanders

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For her supporters, it's an instance that highlights her progressive expertise in a state with a high Democratic majority where Trump is still incredibly unpopular with the majority of voters. With the entire nation attentively watching, James, who was re-elected to the attorney general's position in 2022 after a brief bid for governor, faces risks at this moment as well.

“Taking on Trump as a Black woman, even in New York, is no easy task,” Jasmine Gripper, a longtime ally for James, and co-director of the progressive Working Families Party, said. “His folks are trolling her like crazy. You have to have enough. You can’t come at this lightly, because you don’t want him to get away.”



James has been present at the Trump trial either in person or virtually since it began six weeks ago, an unusual choice for a law enforcement official in charge of an office with hundreds of attorneys managing dozens of cases at a time. During his testimony, Trump made a point of criticizing her presence at the trial, stating, “You have an attorney general sitting here all day long, watching every little move.”

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That's not all he criticized. Before going on the stand, Trump called James “a racist attorney general” to reporters. And he took his hate to the witness stand, telling the judge that James “should be ashamed of herself” for filing the lawsuit. “I think she’s a political hack, and I think she used this case to try and become governor, and she successfully used it to become attorney general,” he proclaimed to a packed courtroom.


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But Democrats and James' friends emphasize that the Trump fraud case is just one of several causes she has taken on over the last five years that can appeal to a wide range of voters, including those in rural and suburban areas. Using the immense power her title possesses, James has challenged the National Rifle Association's non-profit status and brought actions against drug manufacturers who produce extremely addictive opioids. All three concerns impacted important New York groups, according to Democratic consultant Bill Neidhardt.

“It’s been one hell of an autumn for Tish James — holding not just the Trump family accountable, but all his little minions as well will certainly strengthen her standing nationally among Democrats everywhere,” he said.


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