Trump Organization Sued By New York Attorney General As She Investigates Its Financial Dealings

TOPLINE

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the Trump Organization—along with the president’s son Eric Trump—to force the company to comply as she investigates whether the company allegedly inflated its assets to secure loans and other deals. And it comes as the Republican National Convention kicks off, when President Trump must make his case for reelection in November.

KEY FACTS

According to the 68-page filing, James is investigating whether the Trump Organization misled investors by inflating the value of its assets.

James is also seeking for a judge to compel the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas for its financial information, and to force Eric Trump, the company’s executive vice president, to sit for an interview.

The investigation also covers an upstate New York estate called Seven Springs, which the attorney general calls “significant,” along with 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, Trump Tower Chicago and Trump’s Los Angeles golf club.

James has not concluded the investigation, “and has not reached a determination regarding whether the facts identified to date establish violations of law,” according to the complaint.

“We are seeking thousands of documents and testimony from multiple witnesses regarding several Trump Organization properties and transactions, including from Eric Trump, who was intimately involved in one or more transactions under review,” James wrote on Twitter.

James also seeks to force two people connected to the Trump Organization’s work to sit for interviews: land-use lawyer Charles Martabano and Sheri Dillon, a tax representative.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“Nothing will stop us from following the facts and the law, wherever they may lead. For months, the Trump Organization has made baseless claims in an effort to shield evidence from a lawful investigation into its financial dealings,” said James in a statement.

Big number

$2.1 billion. That’s President Trump’s net worth as of Monday, according to Forbes’ estimate. The valuation of the Seven Springs estate is “one particular focus” of the investigation because Trump included it as part of his net worth in statements to financial institutions, the complaint says. Seven Springs’ valuation was also used to claim a $21.1 million tax deduction 2015 after the Trump Organization donated part of its 212 acres for conservation efforts.

Key background

The investigation began in February 2019 after Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, told Congress about the inflationary tactic Trump used for his assets, according to the Post. According to James’ filing, the Trump Organization complied with many requests for information, but balked at the testimonies of Eric Trump, Mortabano and Dillon. Eric Trump, the complaint says, was scheduled to sit for an interview on July 22. He backed out two days prior, and the Trump Organization has since said he will not sit for an interview because of “those rights afforded to every individual under the Constitution.” Eric Trump has not responded to the filing as of Monday afternoon. Before James filed her complaint, President Trump spoke at the RNC Monday morning after being renominated for the Oval Office and has not yet commented on the filing.

Further reading

NY AG probes if President Trump inflated assets for loans (Associated Press)

New York attorney general sues Trump Organization, revealing state investigation into the company’s financial dealings (Washington Post)

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