Court orders Trump’s financial records to be handed over to AG James

New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, speaks during a news conference, to announce a suit to dissolve the National Rifle Association, In New York, U.S., Aug. 6, 2020.
REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday won a major victory in an ongoing investigation into financial dealings of the Trump Organization.

Last month, James filed a motion to compel the Trump Organization to provide the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) with documents and testimony from multiple witnesses — including Trump Organization Executive Vice President Eric Trump, who was intimately involved in one or more transactions under review — regarding several, specific Trump Organization properties and transactions.

After hearing arguments on Wednesday, Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York County State Supreme Court ruled that Attorney General James will be given access to documents withheld by the Trump Organization, including requested financial records related to the Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, New York.

Justice Engoron also ruled that Eric Trump can no longer delay being interviewed by the OAG and cannot delay testimony for six or more months, as he attempted to do, citing his desire to campaign for his father’s re-election campaign.

The court found that the upcoming presidential election has no bearing on the timetable of the investigation at hand — as the Trump Organization falsely argued — and ruled that Eric Trump will have to appear for an interview under oath with the OAG no later than Oct. 7.

“Justice and the rule of law prevailed today,” James said. “We will immediately move to ensure that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization comply with the court’s order and submit financial records related to our investigation.

“Further, Eric Trump will no longer be able to delay his interview and will be sitting down with investigators in my office no later than Oct.7,” she added. “To be clear, no entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation.

“The court’s order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump,” continued James, who opened an investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization in 2019, after Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress that Trump’s annual financial statements inflated the values of Trump’s assets to obtain favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage, while also deflating the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes.

At dispute are subpoenas which would provide the OAG with thousands of documents and testimony from multiple witnesses regarding several, specific Trump Organization properties and transactions, James said.

Last month’s motion to compel was submitted under New York state’s Executive Law § 63(12), which gives the OAG broad powers to investigate fraud and illegality.

The OAG has reached no conclusions in this matter, and the investigation remains ongoing.

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