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Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr slammed New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil lawsuit against the Trump family on Wednesday, saying that it was hard for him “not to conclude it’s a political hit job.”
The lawsuit targets the former president, his business, and many associates. In addition to the former president, the lawsuit targets Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, Allen Weisselberg, Jeffrey McConney, The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, The Trump Organization, Inc., and others.
The lawsuit seeks to punish the targets with a $250 million penalty and a ban on operating any businesses in New York. James also seeks to ban Trump and the Trump Organization from purchasing any real estate in New York for the next five years. The New York attorney general is also referring her investigation into Trump to the Department of Justice for criminal charges.
Barr responded to the lawsuit during an interview on Fox News with anchor John Roberts.
“It would seem that her goal is to eviscerate the family business,” Roberts said. “What do you think of what she’s doing?”
“It’s hard for me not to conclude it’s a political hit job,” Barr responded. “And this is a woman who campaigned for office saying that — promising she was going to go after Trump, which I think is a tremendous abuse of office to go head-hunting and targeting individuals. So, I think she was targeting Trump. And this is, after three years, a civil lawsuit, the gist of which is that, when the Trump Organization borrowed money, Trump personally guaranteed those loans.”
“And to support that, she’s claiming that he inflated his assets on his financial statements. Now, I’m not even sure she has a good case against Trump himself. But what ultimately persuades me that this is a political hit job is, she grossly overreaches when she tries to drag the children into this,” Barr continued. “Yes, they had roles in the business, but this was his personal financial statement. It was prepared by the CFO. Accounting firms were involved in it. The children aren’t going to know the details of that and be able — and nor are they expected in the real world to do their own due diligence and have it reviewed independently.”
“And so this — this, to me, looks like gross overreach, which I think is going to end up backfiring on them, because I think it will make people sympathetic for Trump, that this is another example of people piling on because of Trump Derangement Syndrome, this strong desire to punish him,” he concluded.
Bill Barr on NY AG's lawsuit: "This is a political hit job. I think it's gonna back firing on them. For Trump this is another example of people piling on because of TDS." pic.twitter.com/TUZGsg8gQz
— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) September 21, 2022
Tim Pearce contributed to this report.