Stefanik files ethics complaint against NY attorney general over Trump civil fraud case

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has filed a bar complaint against New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) over former President Trump’s civil fraud case.

Stefanik, the House Republican Conference Chair, confirmed on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she filed a complaint alleging James has conducted a biased investigation into the former president.

“Today, I filed a bar complaint against NY Attorney General Letitia James for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct by conducting a biased investigation and prosecution of President Trump,” her post said.

Stefanik argued the investigation and trial into Trump are “matters of enormous public interest and concern.” She argued that while James has First Amendment rights to speak freely, she is subject to special rules under the state’s professional conduct for licensed attorneys. The complaint was first reported by NBC News.

“It has been her explicit mission since she announced her run for office to go after President Trump. Such behavior not only undermines the integrity of the legal process but also violated the Rules of Professional Conduct to which James, as a licensed attorney, is bound,” she said in an emailed statement.

James sued Trump in 2022, claiming the former President falsely altered his net worth on financial statements to receive tax and insurance benefits for the Trump Organization’s various assets. She has argued it is evidence of fraud, while Trump has maintained there was no fraud.

The trial ended in January after two months of testimony from 40 witnesses, including Trump’s former lawyer, top executives for the organization and Trump’s adult children and the former president.

Judge Arthur Engoron already ruled Trump committed fraud in his real estate empire, but he is expected to issue an “early to mid February” ruling in the $370 million civil fraud case.

The New York lawmaker argued James made “highly inappropriate and prejudicial comments on social media.”

“In just the first five weeks of the trial that began in October 2023–before I stopped counting–Ms. James made over 50 highly inappropriate and prejudicial comments on social media,” the
letter said.

She has asked the Attorney Grievance Committee to investigate James and issue consequences, which could mean disbarring or suspending her. She called for James to be “suspended on an interim basis” and then recommended she be “disbarred or suspended.”

Stefanik is a strong Trump ally and is rumored to be among the handful of candidates who could be his running mate in the 2024 presidential election. She’s filed multiple ethics complaints in the case and criticized the argument brought against the former president.

In an emailed statement, Stefanik said she has found James’s handling of the investigation “nothing short of shameful.”

“Her conduct not only constitutes a breach of her professional responsibilities but also risks irreparable harm to the public’s already eroding trust in our legal institutions,” Stefanik’s statement said.

James’s office had no comment on Stefanik’s complaint when contacted by The Hill.

–Updated at 12:30 p.m.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.