NEW YORK/WASHINGTON New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been looking into investments of U.S. President Donald Trump and other matters related to the Trump administration, on Monday said he has hired two lawyers with federal government experience.
In a memo to his staff on Monday, Schneiderman said he had hired former federal prosecutor Howard Master as senior enforcement counsel. Master was previously deputy chief of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan. He left the U.S. attorney's office on March 8.
In addition, Eric Haren, chief counsel to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will join the office as special counsel and senior adviser on Monday, the memo said. Feinstein is the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Master will lead "complex affirmative investigations and litigation as well as advise on important investigations and prosecutions in the criminal division," Schneiderman wrote. A person familiar with the matter said that includes issues involving the Trump administration.
Under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Master prosecuted public integrity cases, including the case against former New York assembly speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges. Bharara was fired by Trump earlier this month.
Haren has experience in civil rights, constitutional law, data privacy, and security and criminal law, Schneiderman's memo said. He will provide experience in federal law and the internal workings of Congress and federal agencies, according to the memo.
Master did not return a call for comment and Haren could not be reached. A White House spokeswoman did not immediately comment Monday.
Schneiderman last month told reporters in Washington that his office was researching Trump's business investments.
"As a general matter, it is not sustainable for him to refuse to divest from all of these vast holdings and refuse to disclose what those holdings are," the attorney general said.
"It is so far beyond the bounds of anything that anyone has ever attempted that people are having trouble coming up with a clear legal strategy to address it," Schneiderman said.Schneiderman also has joined lawsuits against Trump's travel ban, which temporarily bars the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees to the United States.
In addition, he has been probing Trump's charitable foundation, which came under increased scrutiny following reports by The Washington Post of possible improprieties. In November, the foundation filed forms saying it violated a ban on so-called self-dealing.
In 2013, Schneiderman brought a fraud case against Trump over "Trump University," a series of real estate seminars. Trump agreed to settle that case in November.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler)