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New York's judiciary is hot in the wake of Trump

New York’s judiciary is hot in the wake of Trump

“A disturbing but clear picture”: Attorney General Letitia James.

Richard Drew/AFP/DPA

New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, has been investigating possible financial crimes against Donald Trump for years. Now I made specific allegations. However, the way forward will not be easy.

‘Huge’, ‘Great’, bigger and better: years ago Donald Trump His presidential speeches and reality TV appearances are filled with superlatives about his business and luxury real estate. Perhaps it was not just publicity for the public.

Because the New York attorney general’s office has now found evidence that Trump and his company could have regularly provided false information about assets to banks, insurance companies and tax authorities. But that doesn’t mean shutting down the Trump Organization, shutting down Trump Tower, and sending the former president to prison.

enough proof

Lawyers who reviewed the details of the allegations believe that Attorney General Letitia James may have already launched a fraud investigation. However, AP lawyers said they would face two major hurdles: proving the fraudulent intent and that the banks that lent Trump’s money had already been deceived. “Has anyone ever been careless, lazy, or overly optimistic about their prospects?” said Will Thomas of the University of Michigan. “If so, it could be harmful to business, but not necessarily fraudulent.”

Democrat James has yet to file a lawsuit as part of her nearly three-year investigation into Trump. But in a statement issued by her lawyer on Tuesday, it was said that there is sufficient evidence for this Trump and his two eldest children, Donald Jr and Ivanka, called to testify under oath.

It’s hard to prove intent

Her office accuses the former president of fraudulently inflating the value of his company. In addition, his penthouse in Trump Tower is reported to be three times larger than it actually is. In addition, income from golf club fees by members who were not present was included. The Trump Organization on Wednesday described the investigation as baseless and politically motivated.

Trump’s business practices are also the focus of criminal investigations by the Manhattan District Attorney. Investigators haven’t said much about the evidence in this matter. They noted, however, that the allegations are similar to those made in the civil proceedings.

The key question is whether potential misstatements in the company’s financial statements were made “intentionally, knowingly and fraudulently,” according to former US attorney David Weinstein, who reviewed the evidence for the Associated Press. It is difficult to prove intent with the property, as its value can only be estimated. “Even experts who use the same estimation criteria can disagree about the end result,” Weinstein explained.

The attorney general wants to summon Trump and his children

Another problem is proving that the Trump Organization’s banks and insurance companies and other business partners have in fact fallen for the wrong numbers. According to James’s office, the dubious financial reports also relate to transactions with Deutsche Bank. Trump took out $300 million in mortgages. According to the prosecutor, the bank approved the list of assets without reservation. Internal memos recommended lending due to Trump’s financial profile.

In the event of a lawsuit, James might find it difficult to note that several of Trump’s financial statements contain a note that the numbers have not been independently verified. That warning surely should bring Trump’s lawyer to the fore.

But before it gets that far, the attorney general wants to recall Trump and his two oldest children. Eric, Trump’s eldest son, who also has an interest in the company, testified for six hours in 2020.

“Don’t mess with us”

According to New York University law professor Stephen Gillers, Trump’s forcing others to testify may not be James’s only goal. Gilers said the attorney general’s message to the family is: “You can’t hide.” “Maybe she was exaggerating, but the Trump world should worry because she is not — and that’s what James wants. It’s like when a country displays its weapons and tanks at a military parade and wants to warn opponents: ‘Don’t mess with us.'”

AP / Shop