New York probe finds ‘significant evidence’ against Trump and Ivanka as attorney general files new court motion

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File: New York’s top prosecutor is seeking testimony from the former president, his son Donald Trump Jr and daughter Ivanka Trump  (Getty Images)
File: New York’s top prosecutor is seeking testimony from the former president, his son Donald Trump Jr and daughter Ivanka Trump (Getty Images)

New York attorney general Letitia James has said her office has “uncovered significant evidence” against Donald Trump and his children Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump of using “fraudulent or misleading” asset valuations to get loans and tax benefits.

Filing a motion in a court on Tuesday night, Ms James said her latest legal action will force the Trumps to comply with subpoenas seeking their testimony.

In what appears to be the most detailed account of long-running allegations against the Trump Organisation, the attorney general’s office said the filing made it clear they were “directly involved” in one or more such fraudulent transactions.

“For more than two years, the Trump Organisation has used delay tactics and litigation in an attempt to thwart a legitimate investigation into its financial dealings,” said Ms James.

“Thus far in our investigation, we have uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J Trump and the Trump Organisation falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit.”

The legal action came in response to the former president’s attempts to legally block the New York attorney general from questioning Donald Jr and Ms Trump under oath.

Ms James had issued a subpoena against the three in early December, seeking to question them for the civil inquiry.

“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. We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation and ensure that no one is above the law,” Ms James added.

The filing said her office has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether the said evidence merited legal action.

The motion was aimed to get “necessary testimony and evidence from high-ranking corporate personnel” with close involvement in the events under investigation, the statement said.

Ms James’s office has accused Mr Trump and his children of often providing misleading and inaccurate “Statements of Financial Condition” about the value of six Trump properties as well as the “Trump brand.”

These properties include golf clubs in Westchester County and Scotland, the Trump building – also called 40 Wall Street – in Manhattan and Mr Trump’s triplex apartment at Trump Tower.

The company misreported the size of the 40 Wall Street property, according to the attorney general’s office.

It cited deposition testimony from Mr Trump’s long-time financial chief Allen Weisselberg who was charged last year with tax fraud in a parallel criminal investigation.

Ms James’s investigation is running parallel to criminal investigations by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg.

Ms James and Mr Bragg are both Democrats and their allegations have been decried as a “witch hunt” by Mr Trump.

This also comes as Mr Trump and his family members are facing investigations by the House select committee which is working to examine their role in the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol building.

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