Former Attorney General Bill Barr dismissed the lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general against former President Donald Trump and his children as a “political hit job,” telling Fox News it is yet another symptom of “Trump derangement syndrome” and the left’s desire to “punish” Trump.
“It’s hard for me not to conclude it’s a political hit job,” Barr said on “America Reports” Wednesday. “This is a woman who campaigned for office promising she was going to go after Trump, which I think is a tremendous abuse of office to go head-hunting and targeting individuals.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Wednesday morning against Trump and several of his family members as well as associates and businesses, alleging “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” on years worth of financial statements. James said Trump inflated his net worth “by billions of dollars” to secure loans and that he had help from his children Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.
James requested that the New York Supreme Court permanently bar Trump and his children from serving as officers for any New York corporation, and bar the former president and the Trump Organization from participating in New York commercial real estate acquisitions or applying for loans in the state for five years.
The involvement of the Trump children in the suit “grossly overreaches,” Barr said, calling it further proof of the attorney general’s political motives.
“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 said. “Yes, they had roles in the business, but this was his personal financial statement, prepared by the CFO, accounting firms were involved in it. The children aren’t going to know the details of that, and nor are they expected in the real world to do their own due diligence and have it reviewed independently.”
James filed a civil suit against Trump, but said she believes the allegations also support state and federal criminal laws, and that her office is making a referral to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the IRS. Barr said her decision to bring a civil case, not a criminal one against Trump likely means she lacks the evidence to support the allegations.
“To me, that says she does not have the evidence to make a criminal case. So she’s setting a lower bar and bringing this civil case. I don’t think it’s going to go any further,” he said.
Barr said he thinks the suit will “backfire” on James because the public will perceive it as the fulfillment of her campaign promise on Trump.
“I think it will make people sympathetic for Trump that this is another example of people piling on because of Trump derangement syndrome, you know, the strong desire to punish him,” he argued.
“The loans were paid back. Those were successful investments and the banks were paid back,” Barr added. “So to have spent three years on this seems to me, [is] her trying to make good on a campaign promise that she was going to bring Trump down.”
Trump attorney Alina Habba pushed back against the allegations against the former president, calling them “meritless.”
“Today’s filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law — rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” Habba said in a statement. “It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place. We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”