Former President Donald Trump is doing everything possible to avoid testifying under oath in the court case about alleged fraudulent financial management in his companies, and that is why the New York prosecutor, Democrat Letitia James, presented new arguments to a court to get him and her children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. testify under oath for that investigation.
To bolster the case, James filed a 160-page document with a court this week detailing the findings of his lengthy investigation and concluding that he has obtained “significant evidence” of fraud by the Trump Organization.
According to the report, there are a significant number of discrepancies between the real situation of the former president’s properties and what was declared to financial entities, insurers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to obtain advantages and millions of dollars in tax savings.
James tells the court that it is necessary to have the testimony of the former president and his two children to determine your knowledge of the numerous “misleading statements and omissions” on tax returns and financial statements used to obtain loans.
At the beginning of December of last year, James’s office summoned the former president and his children to testify (although the summons to the latter was only known in January, thanks to some documents presented to the court by the family’s lawyers to block the request). ).
The Trumps have filed legal action to avoid having to comply with subpoenas to testify under oath as part of the investigation into the possibility that the Trump Organization committed fraud in its activities between 2004 and 2020.
The New York prosecutor is focused on analyzing allegedly misleading and incorrect information that Trump and his two sons identified in these investigations would have provided to banks and insurers in relation to at least six of his properties: his well-known Trump Tower, his office building on Wall Street, Manhattan’s Trump Park Avenue, Seven Springs in Westchester County, his golf course in Scotland, and his Westchester Golf Club.
The prosecutor points directly to the former president and says that he signed relevant documents in the accusations at various times. In other words, some of the documents bearing his signature indicate information on the size and value of some of his properties that is contradictory with other records.
It also includes statements from Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, who testified that it was “certainly possible” that Trump had discussed those incorrect assessments with him. Both Weisselberg and another executive said they understood Trump would review the statements.
The response from Trump’s lawyers
In response to the James document, the Trump Organization released a statement copying Trump’s rhetorical style, repeating the former president’s personal attacks on the prosecutor.
“The only one who fools the public is Letitia James. He swindled New Yorkers by basing his entire candidacy on a promise to win Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule,” the statement said, assuring that “three years later, now he faces the harsh reality that he has no case.
“So, in response to Trump suing her and filing multiple ethics complaints, and following her failed run for governor, she has no choice but to mislead the public yet again by misrepresenting the facts and ignoring her own inflammatory comments. Their accusations are baseless and (the Trumps) will be vigorously defended.”
The organization’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, said that the subpoenas violate the constitutional rights of the Trump family and that James’s presentation “does not address the key arguments of the motion – of the defense of the emporium – to vacate or suspend them.”
Will Trump finally testify?
According to James’s words collected by The New York Times, the misstatements of the former president inflating the value of his properties would be part of a pattern.
The attorney general insists on the need to make both the former president and his children Ivanka and Donald Junior testify, to clarify who is responsible for these errors and omissions, and if they were committed intentionally, in order to determine if this is constituting a crime of fraud.
Former President Trump is trying to prevent prosecutors from questioning him or his children about their companies’ accounting, and has accused James of running a “witch hunt” driven by partisan motivations.
In 2019, James opened an investigation into the emporium after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified that Trump exaggerated the value of companies’ assets to get better terms for loans and insurance policies. The US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is also conducting a similar investigation, collaborating with James’ office.