Former U.S. President Donald Trump is facing a rare combination of forces between two New York prosecutors, a development that indicates criminal charges may be drawing near, legal experts have said.

The announcement late Tuesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James that her civil probe of asset valuations by Trump and his real estate company now had a criminal component, and was being coordinated with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, amounts to a "show of strength” by the two prosecutors, said Bennett Gershman, a law professor at Pace University.

"I think it means we’re closer to the completion of the investigation,” said Gershman. "I think it means there very likely may be criminal charges. Why say something like this if you’re just puffing?”