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New York State Attorney General Letitia James has suspended her campaign for governor.
In a tweet on Thursday, James, 63, wrote that she would not seek the gubernatorial seat but instead run for re-election as attorney general in 2022.
'I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general. There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job,' James said.
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James had announced her candidacy for governor in late October, months after she filed the sex pest report that led former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James (pictured in May) suspended her campaign for governor on Thursday
Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs told Spectrum News, 'I think she understands how difficult a year 2022 is going to be for Democrats. This is selfless for her to put her party ahead of her own preference.'
James, the first woman elected as the state's attorney general and first black person to serve in the role, was the leading candidate challenging current Gov. Kathy Hochul.
People familiar with the campaign told CNBC that James may not have been able to raise enough money for a successful candidacy after a number of large Democratic donors signaled that they would be sticking with Hochul.
Fellow challengers Jumaane Williams held 10 per cent of voters, and US Rep. Tom Suozzi and out-going New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio held 6 per cent each.
The decision came hours after James announced her office wanted Donald Trump to testify in person as part of her investigation into potential tax and financial fraud inside the Trump Organization, The Washington Post reported.
James is seeking a deposition from Trump on January 7 at her office in New York as part of a long running probe into the financial practices of the former president's company – including whether the Trump Organization pumped up valuations of its assets when seeking financing, then low-balled values when communicating with tax authorities.
His son Eric Trump, a Trump Organization executive, testified previously in the probe, after his lawyers initially put up resistance.
New York AG Letitia James wants Trump to testify next month, according to the Post
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is seeking testimony from former President Donald Trump in a Jan. 7th deposition, the Washington Post reported
James is looking at whether fraud 'permeated the Trump Organization,' according to the Post.
Trump himself has testified in numerous lawsuits over his career – and in October provided a four and a half hour deposition in connection with a lawsuit brought by protesters who claim they were roughed up by Trump's security outside Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2015.
Trump was dismissive of the probe, even after finally appearing in a suit that outlasted his presidential term.
'After years of litigation, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side of this ridiculous story,' Trump said.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the probe as a 'witch hunt.' He has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case.
Longtime Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg has been indicted on tax charges
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress that the company inflated valuations when seeking financing
Investigators reportedly are looking closely at different valuations for the Seven Springs estate in upstate New York, which ranged from $56 million to $291 million
Prosecutors have convened a second grand jury in the ongoing probe. The Trump Organization's longtime Chief Financial Officer, Allen Weisselberg, was indicted in September by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. The government charges Weisselberg evaded nearly $2 million in taxes, in part by taking luxury perks. Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty.
The New York case is just one of many legal challenges Trump is facing. Prosecutors in Georgia have undertaken a criminal investigation of his election overturn efforts in the state.
Trump settled a defamation case last month with accuser Sumner Zervos without paying compensation. Last week, a three-judge federal appeals court panel heard a case regarding a defamation suit by rape accuser E. Jean Carroll.
Prosecutors are reportedly investigating properties including the Trump Organization's Seven Springs in upstate New York. Trump bought it for $7.5 million in 1996, but company valuations for it have ranged from $56 million to $291 million in 2012.
Former Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress in 2019 about the alleged practice of inflating values of Trump assets when seeking financing from lenders. He has said he met with prosecutors multiple times.