The attorney general, Letitia James, released new details of her investigation as she argued for the need to question Donald J. Trump and two of his children under oath.
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a motion a late Thursday seeking to compel Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to testify under oath, saying that her office’s investigation into the Trump Organization had uncovered “significant evidence” of fraud.
James said in a tweet, “We have uncovered significant evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years.”
“Donald J. Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr… assert that they may have ignored lawfully issued subpoenas for sworn testimony because of what they contend is ‘an unprecedented and unconstitutional maneuver’ by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG)” the motion states. “But subpoenas to current and former top company officials—such as those at issue here—are routine in complex financial investigations and are amply warranted here.”
The court documents notes that for over a year—and since Eric Trump testified in August 2020—the AG’s office has found significant evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used intentionally wrong property valuations “to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.”
Eric Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment “repeatedly” to avoid testifying as to the valuations of multiple Trump Organization properties, according to the memo.
Prosecutors note that while their office has not reached a final decision as to whether this evidence warrants any legal action, their grounds “for conducting the investigation are beyond reproach.”
“This game must end,” the AG’s office says in its court filing, which asks that a judge force Trump and his two adult children to testify, as well as compel the company to turn over key missing documents.
The filing states that the investigation into the Trump Organization began in March 2019, when Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress. During his testimony, Cohen said Trump’s annual financial states inflated the values of the former president’s assets in order to obtain favorable loans and insurance coverage—while also deflating the value of some of his other assets to lower real estate taxes owed.
“OAG has methodically investigated those allegations; indeed, the Trump Organization has already provided substantial documentary and testimonial discovery in response to subpoenas issued by OAG in connection with its civil investigation, without ever challenging OAG’s good faith,” the motion states.
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