New York State Attorney General's Office subpoenaed Donald J. Trump last month as part of a civil inquiry into his business practices. It is now seeking to question two of Trump's adult children as part the inquiry.
In a court filing filed Monday, the Trump Organization attempted to stop Letitia James' lawyers from questioning former president Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.
According to someone familiar with the matter, the subpoenas were issued on December 1 for the former president and his two children. Ms. James had already interrogated Eric Trump in October 2020.
The attempt by the attorney general to interview Donald Trump under oath was made public last month. However, it wasn't known previously that her office, which had been conducting a civil investigation of the former president's business practices almost three years ago, was also seeking to question Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump.
Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump are the three oldest children of Donald Trump. They have been involved in their father’s business, The Trump Organization since shortly after they graduated from college.
Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump took over the business when he became President in 2017. He also handed the company over to Allen H. Weisselberg, the long-serving chief financial officer. Ms. Trump was appointed to the West Wing.
Ms. James is investigating whether Donald Trump falsified the value of his assets in order to obtain bank loans or understate them elsewhere in order to lower his tax bill.
She has obtained a variety of documents and has inspected several properties of the Trump Organization, including the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County as well as the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago.
If Ms. James discovers evidence of wrongdoing she can file a suit. Her investigation is civil and she can't file criminal charges.
Representatives of Ms. James or the Trump Organization were not available for comment immediately.
A judge signed the legal filing that revealed the subpoenas Monday. He was also the judge in an earlier court case brought by the attorney General's office. This action forced Eric Trump to surrender to questioning and the Trump Organization to hand over records.
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There are many inquiries. Numerous inquiries have been made into the personal and businesses of former President Donald Trump since he left office. Here is a list:
Criminal fraud investigation. Both the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the New York Attorney General's Office are looking into whether Trump or his family, The Trump Organization, committed criminal fraud by deliberately submitting false property values for potential lenders.
Tax evasion investigation. In July 2021, Manhattan's district attorney charged the Trump Organization with orchestrating a 15 year scheme to evade taxes. The trial is set for summer 2022.
Investigation into election interference. An investigation is underway by the Atlanta district attorney into allegations of election interference in Georgia by Donald Trump and his associates.
The Trump National Golf Club is under investigation. The Westchester County District Attorney's Office, N.Y. appears to be focusing at least partially on whether Trump Organization misled local officials regarding the property's worth to lower its taxes.
Investigation into Trump Organization. Letitia James, the New York attorney general is asking Mr. Trump to testify under oath during a civil fraud investigation into his business practices.
Monday's filing established a timetable for Mr. Trump’s lawyers to file to stop the latest subpoenas and for the attorney general to respond to any such motion.
Ms. James's department is also involved with the separate criminal investigation being conducted by Alvin Bragg (the Manhattan district attorney), who was sworn into office on Saturday. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. was the previous district attorney who had been overseeing the investigation. He resigned at the end.
In July, Mr. Weisselberg was indicted along with the Trump Organization in the criminal investigation. Mr. Vance's prosecutions accused him of operating a tax-avoidance program in which executive were paid off-the-books benefits. His lawyers have stated that Mr. Weisselberg will not be convicted.
Lawyers for Donald Trump filed a lawsuit last month against Ms. James to stop her civil inquiry and bar her from participating in the criminal investigation. In the lawsuit, which was filed in Albany federal court, Ms. James claimed that she had violated Mr. Trump’s political rights and that her actions were "guided only by political animus."
Ms. James responded that neither Mr. Trump nor his Organization can dictate where and when they will answer for their actions. Her office has yet to respond to the lawsuit in court.