New York Attorney General Claims She Has Evidence of Fraud by Trump, Don Jr. and Ivanka

·4 min read
Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump appear on election night in the East Room of the White House in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020
Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump appear on election night in the East Room of the White House in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump on election night

New York Attorney General Letitia James is increasing pressure on former President Donald Trump and his children to cooperate in an investigation into the Trump Organization's finances, as the family says the probe is baseless.

In a statement issued Tuesday, James' office said it filed paperwork to request a judge to force Trump, 75, his son Donald Trump Jr., 44, and daughter Ivanka Trump, 40, to testify.

The former president's adult children previously asked a judge to quash what they called an "unprecedented and unconstitutional" bid for their testimony after being subpoenaed in December.

The attorney general's office also claimed Tuesday it has evidence of "fraudulent or misleading asset valuations" used by the Trumps to secure loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions.

"Each of the individuals was directly involved in one or more transactions under review," the attorney general's office said.

Trump's middle son, Eric Trump, who serves as an executive vice president at Trump Organization, was also subpoenaed earlier and testified in 2020.

"For more than two years, the Trump Organization has used delay tactics and litigation in an attempt to thwart a legitimate investigation into its financial dealings," James said in a statement. "Thus far in our investigation, we have uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit."

RELATED: New York Attorney General Joins Criminal Investigation into Donald Trump's Company

Donald Trump, Letitia James
Donald Trump, Letitia James

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty; Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock Donald Trump (left), Letitia James

In the filing, the attorney general alleges that the Trump organization's financial statements were "inaccurate or misleading" when it came to the value of certain assets.

"The only one misleading the public is Letitia James," Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington said in a statement that accused the attorney general, who ran as a Democrat in 2018, of going after the former president for political reasons.

"Three years later she is now faced with the stark reality that she has no case," Harrington said.

According to the document filed by James' office, the Trump Organization's financial records allegedly "misstated objective facts, like the size of Mr. Trump's Trump Tower penthouse."

Furthermore, the attorney general's office claims the Trumps' company failed to use fundamental techniques of valuation and inflated certain values by an undisclosed percentage to boost the Trump brand.

"In light of the pervasive and repeated nature of the misstatements and omissions, it appears that the valuations in the Statements were generally inflated as part of a pattern to suggest that Mr. Trump's net worth was higher than it otherwise would have appeared," the document reads.

RELATED: New York Attorney General Letitia James is Suspending Her Gubernatorial Campaign to Run For Reelection

In one example, the attorney general's office said the Trump Organization counted $150,000 in initiation fees for membership at its Westchester, New York, golf club in 2011 but "records indicate that many members paid no deposit for their memberships" that year.

Another example is the Trump Park Avenue property, which the attorney general's office says was valued between $135 and $350 million between 2001 and 2020.

Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony
Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony

Paul Morigi/WireImage

However, "evidence obtained by the Attorney General establishes that unsold residential condominium units represented the lion's share of reported value (in excess of 95% in some years)," the document states.

For one unit in the building, "Ivanka Trump held an option to purchase an apartment she was renting for $8.5 million, but it was valued as high as $25 million on Mr. Trump's financial statements," the attorney general's office said.

RELATED: Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr. Fighting Subpoenas in New York Investigation of Family Company

James' office said it hasn't decided whether the evidence it presented Tuesday merits legal action. But in its attempt to convince a judge to force the Trumps to testify, it stated "the grounds for pursuing the investigation are self-evident."

"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," James said in her statement. "We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation and ensure that no one is above the law."

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