Donald Trump investigated over claims he ‘inflated assets for loans’ as NY AG tries to force Eric to testify
THE New York attorney general's office is investigating Donald Trump's private business for allegedly misleading lenders by inflating assets, according to legal papers filed Monday.
The papers ask a New York judge to compel the Trump Organization to give up information it has been withholding from investigators – and demands that the president's son, Eric Trump, submit to an interview.
Attorney General Letitia James took to Twitter Monday to announce the move, and to slam the Trump Organization for its failure to cooperate.
"I took action to force the Trump Organization, and specifically EVP Eric Trump, to comply with my office's ongoing investigation into its financial dealings," James wrote.
"For months, the Trump Organization has failed to fully comply with our subpoenas in this investigation."
The investigation began, James said, when Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen testified in 2019 that the president's annual financial statements "inflated the values of his assets to obtain favorable terms for loans & insurance coverage, while also deflating the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes."
Many of the details of the ongoing investigation were left out of the filing, but The Washington Post reported that three Trump properties – a Los Angeles golf course, an office building at 40 Wall St and a country estate called Seven Springs in Westchester County, NY – were mentioned.
A Washington Post reported last year that Trump had inflated the potential sale value of Seven Springs in a Statement of Financial Condition – which is given to potential lenders to demonstrate wealth.
A 2011 financial statement reportedly claimed that the property had been "zoned for luxurious homes" and that the value of the lot would rise to $261million from $20million due to the value of the homes.
The Post reported that Trump received preliminary approval for the homes, but none were ever built.
In James' announcement, she also noted that the investigation is seeking testimony from several witnesses with knowledge of the organization's financial dealings, including Trump's son.
"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 of more transactions under review," she said.
Eric Trump was reportedly scheduled to be interviewed for the investigation in July, but abruptly canceled and is now refusing to reschedule.
His lawyers have said they "cannot allow the requested interview to go forward … pursuant to those rights afforded to every individual under the Constitution," according to The Post.
Trump's legal team has reportedly maintained that the organization "did nothing wrong," and that the legal filings are a political move by New York's AG.
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