Now that Trump has fired US Atty Bharara, NY Atty General Eric Schneiderman has the special power and duty under NY Bus. Law 1101(a)(2) to investigate: 1) unconstitutional “Emoluments”; 2) Trump financial records; 3) Russian influence; 4) violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Iranian sanctions; 5) obstruction of justice.
CALL NY AG Helpline: 1-800-771-7755. Tweet address: @AGSchneiderman. See Jed Shugerman at Shugerblog.com.
Trump just fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara this afternoon, after Trump had decided to keep Bharara on the job in January. Bharara had been very popular with Republicans for his prosecution of corrupt politicians. So why the sudden change? When Trump asked for Bharara’s resignation yesterday, the N.Y. Times explained:
Last week, several public interest groups, including Democracy 21 and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called on Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and an aggressive prosecutor of corruption, to investigate the Trump Organization, the New York-based business through which Mr. Trump owns and controls his hotels, golf courses and other holdings. But that effort might not go far because the Department of Justice on Friday asked Mr. Bharara and 45 other United States attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama to resign.
When Bharara refused to resign, Trump fired him. Coincidence? What was Bharara already investigating? Now that Trump will replace Bharara with his own personal crony to protect his business empire, who else can investigate?
The answer is simple: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman can bring the investigation that Preet Bharara might have. I have written before about how every state gives its attorney general the power — and the duty — to investigate corporate corruption and law-breaking with the Quo Warranto procedure. In New York, that power is written into New York law. New York’s Business Corporation Law section 1101 grants the attorney general the authority “to bring an action for the dissolution of a corporation” if:
the corporation has exceeded the authority conferred upon it by law, or has violated any provision of law whereby it has forfeited its charter, or carried on, conducted or transacted its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner, or by the abuse of its powers contrary to the public policy of the state has become liable to be dissolved.
N.Y. Bus. Corp. Law § 1101(a)(2). New York courts have explained that violations of federal law are also grounds for dissolution, so Trump’s constant violations of the Emoluments Clause are grounds for this investigation and dissolution or forced divestment. In re People (Int’l Workers Order, Inc.), 199 Misc. 941, 976, 106 N.Y.S.2d 953 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1951).
Call, tweet, or write to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman now to get him to start this investigation to understand what Trump and his corporations are doing, how the corporation is a vehicle for foreign “emoluments,” and how these foreign entanglements are endangering the United States. And if you live in other states, you can contact your attorney general, too. I’ll update this blog with state-by-state action plans soon.
NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Twitter address: @AGSchneiderman
NY Attorney General’s General Helpline: 1-800-771-7755
TDD/TTY Toll Free Line: 1-800-788-9898
Mail: Office of the Attorney General
Albany, NY 12224-0341