New York AG: Investigation found evidence suggesting Trump business fraud
The New York attorney general’s office said in court filings late Tuesday that it has found “significant” evidence suggesting that former President Trump’s company committed fraud, and asked a state judge to order Trump and two of his children to testify in the investigation.
Over the past year, the attorney general’s office said in its filings, the investigation “has developed significant additional evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has outlined the focus of her office’s probe in recent years, but the filings on Tuesday mark the first time that the state’s top law enforcer has leveled any accusations of wrongdoing. James said that the investigation is ongoing and there has been no final determination of whether to charge the company with fraud.
“The Trumps must comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony because no one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them,” James said in a statement. “We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation and ensure that no one is above the law.”
James said the evidence warrants further investigation.
Her office alleged in a motion to compel the former president and his children to testify that the Trump Organization lied about some of its property values and inflated the value of a New York golf club for its own financial benefit.
The numbers allegedly helped the company receive better loan conditions and ease its tax burden.
The former president’s children have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, James said.
James is trying to force testimony from Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. Another son, Eric Trump, has already testified to the office.
Trump Jr. runs the family company with his brother while Ivanka Trump was its executive vice president for development and acquisitions until at least 2016.
“So we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation,” the attorney general said. “We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation, uncover the facts, and pursue justice, no matter how many roadblocks Mr. Trump and his family throw in our way.”
An attorney representing the Trumps did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
Trump and his family have said in the past the investigation is politically motivated.
Donald Trump Jr. said in a tweet Wednesday morning that James’s investigation “is nothing more than political retribution from her on behalf of the entire Dem Party,” adding that she should be disbarred.
Updated at 10:49 a.m.