N.Y. Swears In New Attorney General After A Tumultuous Year For The Office

The state of New York has a new attorney general and she is, literally, like no one who has ever held the office before.

Democrat Letitia James was sworn in as New York's 67th Attorney General late Monday in a ceremony at the state capitol in Albany. James, 60, is the state's first black attorney general and the first woman ever elected to that state-wide office.

In a statement, James said it was the highest honor to officially begin her time as New York's attorney general and that she "will never waiver" on upholding the promise to "use the rule of law to protect the rights and advance the interest of all New Yorkers." She's slated to participate in an inauguration ceremony later in the day on Jan. 1, according to her office.

James, who is a long-time New York City politician, replaces Democrat Barbara Underwood, who was appointed to the post when former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned last year after multiple women came forward to accuse him of physical and verbal abuse.

Schneiderman, a Democrat who took a prominent spot as an advocate of the #MeToo movement when he pursued legal action against Harvey Weinstein for the movie mogul's alleged sex crimes, was accused by four women of non-consensual physical violence in a May 7, 2018, New Yorker article. As NPR previously reported, Schneiderman resigned from the New York attorney general post though denied all of the allegations.

In November, a prosecutor announced that after an "exhaustive review" of the facts, Schneiderman would not face criminal charges.

For all the different perspectives James brings to the office, aggressively pursuing the Trump administration is one thing she does have in common with her predecessors. And she's made her feelings about the president very clear, calling Trump an "illegitimate president" and that her decision to run was "about that man in the White House who can't go a day without threatening our fundamental rights," according to The New York Times.

Her victory in November drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who accused her of running her election campaign on a "GET TRUMP agenda."

The Times reports that James will continue with the lawsuit Underwood filed against the Trump Foundation, and that she may also look into whether Trump has violated the Constitution's emoluments clause.

But first, now that she's sworn in, James plans to tour around New York and host information meet-and-greets with constituents, according to a statement from her office.

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