New York state’s attorney general has hired two prosecutors to handle corruption cases and to hold President Donald J. Trump's administration accountable for the effects of certain policies, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.
According to the Daily News, Eric Schneiderman has taken on Howard Master, who had worked under Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Eric Haren, who was chief counsel to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Bharara was fired after refusing Trump’s demand that he step down.
Haren's work included civil rights and constitutional law cases, media reports said.
The Daily News also reported that a source told it that Schneiderman will be looking into whether the president violated a clause in the Constitution that some claim prohibits businesses owned by the president from accepting payments from foreign governments.
New York is home to many global corporations, according to Newsday.
The attorney general, a frequent Trump critic, has already sued over his immigration ban and is weighing potential legal action over issues that affect New Yorkers, such as the environment, the Daily News reported.
Meanwhile, Schneiderman went on the offensive Tuesday, detailing the “disastrous impacts” Trump’s proposed budget cuts would have on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in New York state.
The cuts, he said, threaten to “delay and obstruct” environmental projects in the state.
Standing along the Gowanus Canal, which is a designated federal Superfund site, Schneiderman said he wouldn’t hesitate to “act,” if the Trump administration fails to “ensure a clean, safe, and healthy environment” for all New Yorkers.
According to the attorney general, the president’s proposed budget “blueprint” released last Thursday would cut funding for the EPA by 31 percent or $2.6 billion. The agency’s budget would be $5.7 billion, its lowest level in 40 years when adjusted for inflation.
The proposed cuts would, Schneiderman said, eliminated 50 programs and 3,200 jobs.
Among the potential impacts Schneiderman highlighted involved the Hudson Valley.
The Trump budget makes, he said, “dramatic cuts to climate change programs and research, which imperils not just water quality and infrastructure, but the air quality and overall “health, safety, and welfare of all New Yorkers and Americans.
In 2011, Hurricane Irene dumped more than 11 inches of rain in 24 hours on the Hudson Valley, Catskills, eastern Adirondacks and elsewhere in the state. Thirty-one counties had to be declared disaster areas.
Because of global warming and a higher sea level, flooding from Superstorm Sandy expanded, he said, by about 25 square miles and affected the homes of 80,000 more people in New York and New Jersey.
Paul Galley, the Hudson Riverkeeper, Tuesday called the Trump budget a “raw deal” for New Yorkers, said that drastic cuts to the EPA “will have a chilling effect on New York just at the time when real progress is being made to restore the city’s vulnerable waterways,” such as the Gowanus Canal.
Trump, who owns the $19.5 million Seven Springs estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.