New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Thursday denounced President Trump after he suggested that the state and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) need to stop filing lawsuits against him in order for its residents to be able to enroll in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTPs).
“When you stop violating the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, we will stand down,” James said on Twitter.
“[By the way], I file the lawsuits, not the Governor,” she added.
When you stop violating the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, we will stand down.
Until then, we have a duty and responsibility to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
BTW, I file the lawsuits, not the Governor. https://t.co/tsOLeEgiQp
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 13, 2020
The comments from James, who has filed multiple suits against the administration, came the same day that Trump was scheduled to meet with Cuomo about his administration’s recent move to block New Yorkers from enrolling in TTPs, which allow thousands of travelers to bypass long security lines at airports and customs.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that it would end the program for New York residents in response to a new state law permitting immigrants without legal status to obtain driver’s licenses. DHS specifically cited a part of the law that blocks the state from supplying data to immigration enforcement agencies to justify the action.
Trump said on Twitter ahead of the meeting that Cuomo needed to understand that “national security far exceeds politics,” but also added that the state needed to “stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes.”
I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a first-term congresswoman representing portions of Queens and the Bronx, tweeted that Trump is “publicly admitting that he is holding Global Entry for New Yorkers hostage in exchange for dropping lawsuits against him and his family’s lawbreaking behavior.”
“This is corrupt, illegal, and authoritarian,” she said.
James filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the new policy on Monday. In a statement announcing the suit, she said that she wouldn’t allow New Yorkers to be held “hostage by an Administration intent on restraining the sovereign rights of states, while it simultaneously enacts discriminatory policies across the country.”
The lawsuit claims the new rule violates the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the post-9/11 statute that created TTPs, and that it will jeopardize New Yorkers’ safety.
The New York attorney’s general office has filed multiple lawsuits against Trump and his business. James also filed subpoenas in March 2019 for records pertaining to some of Trump’s business finances.
Trump blasted James as a “political hack” in November after he was ordered to pay $2 million to nonprofit groups as part of a settlement in a civil lawsuit that alleged he used his charity’s funds for personal and political means.