web analytics

Letitia James and the Power of Progressive Prosecutors

From a former president to the NRA, Ms. James hopes to slay the biggest of conservative giants.

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Articles, Good Reads, Opinion, Politics

A jury in Manhattan began deliberation in the New York civil fraud case against the NRA and its now-disgraced former leader, Wayne LaPierre, Friday, February 16. The very same day, Arthur Engoron, the judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud case at the Manhattan Supreme Court, ordered the former president to pay $364 million. What’s the connection? Letitia James – the Empire State’s attorney general and would-be slayer of conservative giants. From the former president to the nations largest gun rights advocacy, Ms. James has taken on the biggest of foes – and, so far, she seems to be holding her own.

Letitia James Trumped the Donald

“Letitia James: the New York state attorney general who brought down the Trump Organization,” read the headline in establishment media outlet The Guardian a day after the Trump ruling. “On Friday, James was given a stunning victory,” the paper wrote. “The judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, handed her almost everything she had asked for. Trump was fined more than $350m plus pre-judgement interest and he and his eldest sons were banned from doing business in New York for years.”

A stunning victory indeed for Ms. James, who campaigned for – and won – the job of attorney general by targeting Donald Trump, promising in 2018 to shine a “bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings” should she win. In a progressive and anti-Trump environment like New York – especially Manhattan, where the fraud was tried – it was a recipe for success, both at the ballot box and in court.

Gunning for the NRA

In another high-profile case, Letitia James is prosecuting the National Rifle Association (NRA) and some of its top officials for violating non-profit law by using organization funds for personal gain. As Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. explained last year, “news of Wayne LaPierre’s spending was sparked by the election of the NRA’s powerful enemy, New York Attorney General Letitia James. The Democrat called the NRA a ‘terrorist organization’ while running for office in 2018.” It wasn’t long before she made good on yet another campaign promise by filing a civil suit to abolish the non-profit, which was chartered in New York.

The NRA, as Mr. Cosenza later reported for LN, survived Ms. James’ attempted assassination – but the leaders, like Mr. LaPierre, whose apparent misuse of the advocacy’s funds for everything from expensive family vacations on chartered jets to fancy suits and his wife’s hairdresser had gun control and Second Amendment advocates alike up in arms, were not to be spared.

LaPierre and his co-defendants could find themselves owing tens of millions in restitution to the NRA. And the organization itself, while no longer under threat of court-ordered dissolution, has suffered greatly from the scandal, losing around a million paying members from 2018 to 2023. In the end, Ms. James may still be able to claim she vanquished the NRA, even if more slowly than she had hoped.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Letitia James attended Lehman College in the Bronx and then Howard University in DC. She served as a public defender, as a staffer for the New York State Assembly, and as assistant attorney general out of the Brooklyn regional office. James was a New York City Council member from 2004 to 2013 and the New York City Public Advocate from 2013 to 2018.

New Banner Political Power PlaysBut the progressive New Yorker has made quite the name for herself on the national stage since winning the attorney general election in 2018 – a position well known as a launching pad for bigger and better things. Could Ms. James have her eye on a loftier position? Of course. She proved as much by briefly running for governor. In 2021 – after she had filed suit against Donald Trump and long before seeing it through – Ms. James launched a primary campaign against Kathy Hochul, who had succeeded Andrew Cuomo as governor. She never caught up to Hochul, however, in the early polls, and so she called it quits after less than two months, choosing instead to run for re-election as attorney general.

But that was then. Now she can claim victories – even if only partial ones – against a former president and the nation’s biggest gun rights lobbying organization, left-wing bona fides that make her stand out amongst a myriad of anti-Trump progressives. Don’t be surprised to find Letitia James standing tall upon these political giants in the 2026 gubernatorial election.

Read More From James Fite

Latest Posts

Judiciary Committee Holds Free Press Hearing

Former CBS investigative journalist Catherine Herridge was the star at the House Judiciary Committee hearing...

Biden Begins the Spin on the Iran Attack

There is a new metric for a small increment of time. Forget the nanosecond. The new measure is the minuscule unit...

A Political Reckoning Awaits

Why did No Labels fail to find a single candidate willing to stand on a unity platform?...

The Creeping Progressive Power Play

Progressives seem to have taken control of the Democratic Party ship and are in the process of steering it...

Biden Says He May Close the Border – If He Can

President Joe Biden began his presidency trashing former commander-in-chief Donald Trump’s immigration policies....

Latest Posts

Judiciary Committee Holds Free Press Hearing

Former CBS investigative journalist Catherine Herridge was the star at the House Judiciary Committee hearing...

Biden Begins the Spin on the Iran Attack

There is a new metric for a small increment of time. Forget the nanosecond. The new measure is the minuscule unit...

A Political Reckoning Awaits

Why did No Labels fail to find a single candidate willing to stand on a unity platform?...