Donald Trump thought being President would be easy. You show up a few hours a day to a fancy building where you have 24 hours security, sign some papers, smile for the camera, hang out with international leaders, golf 3 days a week and make money using your new found office as a personal conduit for your own enrichment.
What he didn't plan for was the continued battles he is facing nationwide for a litany of reasons. Well, one of his biggest enemies in the judicial system is New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. Back in 2010, Schneiderman met Trump for the first time. As he described their first meeting to Politico he quoted Trump as saying "I like you. You and me, we’re going to be best friends.”
Well, that didn't happen. Instead, it started a bitter relationship of personal attacks (from Trump to Schneiderman) and lawsuits where little people had been defrauded (Schneiderman suing Trump on behalf of citizens.
Politico describes it this way:
That meeting was the beginning of a long and increasingly bitter saga between the two. Schneiderman took up the state’s existing case against Trump University—New York wanted the school to drop the “university” from its name, since it was not chartered as an institution of higher learning and lacked a license to offer instruction—and as he pursued it over the next five years, he became the target of a relentless series of personal attacks from the Trump camp. Trump filed an ethics complaint alleging that Schneiderman offered to drop the suit in exchange for donations; he went on television to denounce Schneiderman as a hack and a lightweight, and said he was wasting millions of taxpayer dollars when he should have been going after Wall Street. (Never mind that Schneiderman had already been declared “the man the banks fear most” by the liberal magazine The American Prospect.) “The whole scorched-earth strategy towards those who would challenge him, we got a preview of,” says Schneiderman.
Just days after his election, Trump settled Trump U for $25M, even after declaring that he would never settle because the case would be "easy" for him to win. Um, maybe not.
Schneiderman leads an impressive team of almost 700 attorneys, focused on a variety of lawsuits. His specialty has been taking on fraud and corruption, of fighting for the little people against greedy Wall Street and corporate types.
Now that Trump is in office, Schneiderman has upped his game to even more ambitious levels. This time he is taking on the President, not just some spoiled rich boy turned semi successful businessman.
How do you up your game even more? You hire one of the top public corruption prosecutors who worked under former US Attorney Preet Bharara. This attorney's name may not be familiar to you yet, but it will be soon: Howard Master. One of the most famous cases Master prosecuted was against NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who was convicted of 7 counts of corruption, including fraud, money laundering and extortion, back in 2015. Looking into Trump seems to fit right in with Master's background, eh?
The Wall Street Journal spoke with Schneiderman's spokesman, Eric Soufer, who stated that Master's hiring would involve him "working on a wide range of civil and criminal investigations and enforcement matters, including public corruption, complex civil litigation and potentially litigation against the Trump administration."
The White House didn't respond to a request for comment from the WSJ.
Oh, and just last week Schneiderman joined the lawsuit against Trump's revised* (but not really at all) Muslim Ban 2.0.
“The Trump administration’s continued intent to discriminate against Muslims is clear and it undermines New York’s families, institutions and economy.”
Donnie won't like this one bit.
Oh, and even better is the possibility that Schneiderman's office may have standing to pursue cases involving the Emoluments Clause or the Martin Act, a state law the involves prosecuting financial fraud.
For someone who wins all the time (but not really), Trump is looking like the biggest loser of all right now. Oh, except for the American people, who really lost out on November 8th.