New York Versus Donald Trump Is Getting Serious. NY Attorney General Informs The Former President He’s Under Criminal Investigation.

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 7, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a "National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America's Schools," event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The New York attorney general’s office said Tuesday, May 18, 2021 that it is conducting a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business empire, expanding what had previously been a civil probe. Attorney General Letitia James investigators are working with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has been conducting a criminal investigation into Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, for two years. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The New York investigation into former President Donald Trump has turned to something other than civil. It’s now criminal.

The state attorney general’s office spokesman told media outlets the office is pursuing potential crimes, having sought only civil charges previously.

New York A.G. Letitia James’ spokesman, Fabien Levy issued a statement on Tuesday:

“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the Organization is no longer purely civil in nature.

“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA. We have no additional comment.”

The reason for the change was not made clear, and additional questions including the personal implications for Trump remain unanswered.

The difference in civil vs. criminal, generally, is that civil cases most often deal with injury to individuals or other private parties while criminal definition means the damage is believed to have an effect on society at large.

James informed the Trump Organization of the change in recent months, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

James launched a civil inquiry in March 2019 regarding claims that Trump – when seeking loans — inflated the value of his assets to lower his taxes. James, according to a BBC story, also is pursuing documents on four Trump Organization properties in Manhattan, upstate New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

And the district attorney of Manhattan, Cyrus Vance Jr., said in court documents last August his office was investigating alleged “protracted criminal conduct” at the Trump Organization.

Vance, whose office said in February it now has Trump’s tax returns, also is seeking further information on whether Trump or his handlers altered his financial records to hide payments to two women in 2016 who say they had affairs with him.

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