Pressure Mounts on Letitia James to Prosecute Jon Stewart

Calls have been made on social media for New York Attorney General Letitia James to prosecute late-night show host Jon Stewart, similar to what was done with former President Donald Trump. This comes after reports surfaced that Stewart sold his city apartment for a whopping $15.6 million more than its actual value.

In 2014, Stewart made headlines when he sold his Tribeca penthouse for a whopping $17.5 million, as reported by the New York Post. The stunning 6,280-square-foot property, which had a market value of approximately $1.882 million according to the City of New York’s Assessment Roll 2013-2014, was sold at a staggering 830 percent higher than its initial value.

Social media users were quick to point out that James went after Stewart, just like she did with Trump, for inflating his assets, even though the comedian did nothing illegal by selling his penthouse for more than market value.

James took legal action against Trump in September 2022, alleging that he, along with his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, The Trump Organization, and two executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeff McConney, had inflated the value of assets in order to obtain more favorable bank loans and tax arrangements.

In a recent ruling, Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump guilty of fraud and ordered him to pay a hefty sum of $355 million, along with interest. Additionally, as a consequence of his actions, Trump has been prohibited from conducting any business activities within New York for a duration of three years.

In a recent post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Representative Mike Collins, a Republican from Georgia, expressed his anticipation of Letitia James, the New York Attorney General, taking action against Jon Stewart. Collins wrote, “I am looking forward to Letitia James sending the NYPD to arrest Jon Stewart and confiscate his assets.”

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Breitbart News, a conservative media outlet, recently published an article discussing Stewart’s penthouse sale. In their piece, they made a pointed remark, saying, “Letitia James, are you paying attention? No one is exempt from the law, right?”

Carmine Sabia, the editor-at-large for Conservative Brief, questioned whether Letitia James would pursue legal action against Jon Stewart.

Conservative radio host Andrew Wilkow shared an article from the Post on Wednesday and commented, “Paging Letitia James.”

In response to the criticism he was facing, Stewart took to X platform on Wednesday and expressed his thoughts. He humorously remarked, “OMG!! I’ve been caught doing something completely different from Trump! I suppose the next step for me is to establish a fraudulent college, illegally obtain classified documents, cause casinos to go bankrupt, pay off individuals to keep quiet, engage in inappropriate behavior, practice housing discrimination, cheat in golf, and incite insurrection. Maybe then I’ll earn your admiration!”

Stewart’s representatives and Trump’s spokesman were contacted by Newsweek via email for comment.

Stewart’s decision to sell his home above market value is distinct from Trump’s situation. Homeowners have the freedom to set their own selling price. In contrast, Trump was accused by James of inflating his property’s value in order to secure better loans.

Trump, the presumed GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential election, maintains his innocence and argues that the case against him is politically motivated. He has appealed Engoron’s ruling, firmly believing that he has done nothing wrong.

When Engoron made his ruling, James expressed his thoughts on X: “Today, we have achieved justice. This is a significant victory for all those who advocate for equal treatment under the law. It doesn’t matter how influential, affluent, or commanding a person may be, no one is exempt from the law. Not even Donald Trump.”

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On Monday, the appeals court reduced Trump’s $454 bond to $175 million and granted him an additional 10 days to make the payment. Meanwhile, the other defendants involved in the fraud case have also received their respective penalties.

The article from The Post was published after Stewart passionately criticized Trump and denounced the notion that his exaggeration of assets was a “victimless crime” on his show, The Daily Show, on Monday.

According to the comedian, overvaluations cannot be seen as victimless crimes. He emphasizes that money is not infinite and when it is given to a liar through a loan, it is taken away from someone who could have provided a more honest evaluation.

He continued by emphasizing the negative impact of avoiding taxes, stating that it harms the entire community. He further highlighted the specific consequences, citing the example of how Donald Trump’s actions have resulted in financial losses for the city of New York.

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