Erica Lansner—Redux
May 23, 2022 6:29 AM EDT

As the first Black woman to serve as New York State’s attorney general—one of the most powerful law-­enforcement positions in the country—Letitia James has used her position to take down powerful men and pursue nationwide causes. Her investigation into the state’s handling of COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes damaged Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reputation, and her office’s investigation into the sexual harassment claims against the governor led to his resignation in August 2021. Her investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business dealings has been one of the most aggressive so far, resulting in a New York State judge briefly holding the former President in contempt of court as the state seeks documents relating to possible fraud at his organization. And she’s using her position as New York’s top law-­enforcement officer to wield power on national issues, from protecting women from other states who seek an abortion in New York to investigating the role of social media companies in spreading online hate.

Alter is a TIME senior correspondent

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