Eric Schneiderman hires fed lawyers to combat President Trump

Posted March 21, 2017

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump, hired anti-corruption attorney Howard Master, a prosecutor who's worked closely with former Manhattan District Attorney Preet Bharara, to target the Trump administration. Haren was previously chief counsel to Democratic U.S. Sen.

Haren has experience in civil rights, constitutional law, data privacy, and security and criminal law, Schneiderman's memo said.

Master had previously worked as a prosecutor in Bharara's office, where he focused public corruption cases, including the prosecution of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Master previously served under former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was sacked last week after refusing the president's order to resign along with 46 others appointed by former President Barack Obama.

Scheiderman's office is expected to explore whether it has legal standing to challenge Trump on the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits federal office holders from accepting payments from foreign governments. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), per The Daily News.

State attorneys general were behind the lawsuits that obtained court orders blocking Trump's controversial "Muslim" ban.

With Trump in control of the executive branch, including the federal Department of Justice, and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, a network of Democrat state attorneys general has emerged as a significant legal watchdog to his administration.

Schneiderman, a frequent Trump critic, has repeatedly said his office will sue the administration if necessary to protect New Yorkers' and the state's interests. He was among 46 US attorneys asked to resign because they were holdovers from former President Barack Obama's administration. US federal courts have suspended both Trump's initial and revised travel bans. He would act as senior enforcement counsel within the state office, the Wall Street Journal first reported Sunday.

In 2013, Mr Schneiderman brought a lawsuit against Mr Trump over fraud claims relating to his property development training company, Trump University.

Schneiderman said Master will "lead complex affirmative investigations and litigation as well as advise on important investigations and prosecutions in the criminal division".