Article

NY AG probes if Trump pumped up value of estate, assets : TheGrio

17 views


New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference announcing a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA on August 06, 2020 in New York City. New York State Attorney General Letitia filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association charging the organization as a whole as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and CFO Wilson Phillips, Chief of Staff and Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer with failing to manage the NRA’s funds and failing to follow state and federal laws. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s Democratic attorney general asked a court Monday to enforce subpoenas into an investigation into whether President Donald Trump and his businesses inflated assets on financial statements.

Attorney General Letitia James filed a petition in state trial court in New York City naming the Trump Organization, an umbrella group for the Republican president’s holdings, as a respondent along with other business entities. The filing also named Eric Trump and Seven Springs, a New York estate owned by the Trump family.

The attorney general said Eric Trump, president of Seven Springs and vice president of the organization, should be compelled to testify.

Read More: NY AG James orders BLM Foundation to stop soliciting donations

The investigation centers on whether the Trump Organization and the president improperly inflated the value of assets to secure loans and obtain economic and tax benefits. Investigators are looking into whether the Trump Organization and its agents improperly inflated the value of the Seven Springs north of the city.

In the court filings, the attorney general’s office wrote that “information regarding the valuation of Seven Springs is significant” to the office’s investigation.

Letitia James thegrio.com
Letitia James speaks on stage at World AIDS Day 2017 at Kings Theatre on December 1, 2017 in the Brooklyn (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works, Inc. )

The Trump Organization said James’ investigation was politically motivated.

“While we have tried to cooperate in good faith with the investigation at every turn, the NYAG’s continued harassment of the company as we approach the election (and filing of this motion on the first day of the Republican National Convention) once again confirms that this investigation is all about politics,” according to an emailed statement from the organization. “We will respond to this motion as appropriate.”

The investigation was launched in March 2019 after Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress that Trump had inflated the value of his assets to obtain more favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage.

Since then, the attorney general’s office has issued “a number of subpoenas and has taken testimony seeking information material to these matters,” the court filing said. Investigators have not yet determined whether the law was broken.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in the Oval Office at the White House August 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

“For months, the Trump Organization has made baseless claims in an effort to shield evidence from a lawful investigation into its financial dealings,” James said in a prepared statement. “They have stalled, withheld documents, and instructed witnesses, including Eric Trump, to refuse to answer questions under oath.”

Read More: Trump required to produce tax returns, judge says

James’ office issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization and to Seven Springs LLC in December 2019, seeking financial documents, the filing said. Since then, both have “engaged in extensive good-faith discussions concerning the Trump Organization’s compliance with the subpoenas.”

The attorney general’s office is also attempting to collect information about several other Trump-related properties, including the Trump National Golf Club near Los Angeles, the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and an office building on Wall Street in Manhattan where the Trump Organization “owns a ‘ground lease’ pertaining to the property.”

__

Hill reported from Albany, N.Y. Balsamo reported from Washington, D.C.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Share:












Source link