The business dealings of the Trump Organization and members of the Trump family, including former President Donald Trump, are now the subject of a criminal investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has already been conducting a criminal investigation into Trump’s activities.
Last night, the attorney general’s office confirmed that its investigation is no longer just civil and has entered the criminal sphere. James’ office said it is working with Vance’s office in looking into possible criminal matters.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature,” the statement said. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”
A spokesperson at James’ office had no details to add to the statement.
Both James and Vance have provided few details about their investigations, but it is known that Trump’s son Eric was subpoenaed to testify in the James investigation and, after resisting in court, was ultimately ordered to appear.
James opened her investigation in 2019 after Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen testified before Congress about what he described as Trump’s practice of inflating the value of his assets when seeking favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage while at the same time deflating the values of those same assets to reduce taxes.
James has revealed that a 212-acre property in Westchester County bought by the Trump Organization in 1995, Seven Springs Estate, was one of the properties she included in her investigation. Her office explained that it was looking into Trump’s unsuccessful efforts to develop the property and it subsequently taking a tax deduction for a conservation easement.
James also was looking into Trump’s handling of 40 Wall Street, a mixed-use building in lower Manhattan on which the Trump Organization had taken a $160 million note and mortgage with $20 million personally guaranteed by Donald Trump.
Another Trump property that figures in James investigation is the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. James described it as a hotel and residential complex that “was absent from Donald Trump’s ‘Statement of Financial Condition’ in 2009 and in subsequent years.”
James also was looking into a tax deduction that had been claimed for a conservation easement granted by the Trump Organization over part of the Trump National Golf Club – Los Angeles.
In a posting on Twitter reacting to the news that James is conducting a criminal investigation, Michael Cohen wrote, “As more documents are reviewed by the NYAG (New York Attorney General) and NYDA (New York District Attorney), it appears that the troubles for Donald Trump just keep on coming! Soon enough, Donald and Associates will be held responsible for their actions.”
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