New York AG sues Trump Organization to compel Eric Trump testimony
The filing from James’ office asks a judge to order the Trump Organization to turn over the documents it has withheld and to compel the testimony it seeks from Eric Trump, as well as two lawyers who worked with the company.
It accuses the Trump Organization of stonewalling its investigation for months and reveals that James’ office is focusing on four Trump properties in particular: Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, N.Y., the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, 40 Wall Street in New York City and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.
An attorney for the Trump Organization sought to downplay the filings on Monday.
“This is simply a discovery dispute over documents and the like,” the lawyer, Alan Garten, said in an email. “As the motion papers clearly state, the NYAG has made no determination that anything was improper or that any action is forthcoming. We will respond to this motion as appropriate.”
The inquiry began in 2019 after Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney and fixer, testified to Congress that Trump had inflated his assets in financial statements to banks in order to achieve more favorable loans and insurance policies and that Trump undervalued them in order to reduce his tax bill.
Cohen is serving a three-year sentence under home confinement for lying to congressional investigators, financial crimes and campaign finance violations related to hush money payments to a woman who alleged an affair with Donald Trump.
In a statement on Monday, James declared that “nothing will stop us from following the facts and the law, wherever they may lead.”
“For months, the Trump Organization has made baseless claims in an effort to shield evidence from a lawful investigation into its financial dealings. They have stalled, withheld documents, and instructed witnesses, including Eric Trump, to refuse to answer questions under oath,” she said, pledging: “These questions will be answered and the truth will be uncovered, because no one is above the law.”
The motion to compel that was unsealed on Monday is not the first time the president and his corporate empire have clashed with New York investigators. In December 2018, Trump’s namesake charitable foundation agreed to shut down in the face of an investigation from then-acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood surrounding alleged misuse of funds.
And the president is currently battling the Manhattan district attorney, Cy Vance Jr., to keep private the Trump Organization’s financial records and Trump’s tax returns, a legal fight that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court over the summer.