The ex-president was ‘personally involved’ in fraudulent business practices, according to a filing from the New York attorney general’s office on Tuesday
As criminal investigations in New York continue to circle Donald Trump, some commentators are speculating that avoiding prosecution will be a major motive encouraging him to run for the White House again in 2024.
Mardi, New York attorney general Letitia James alleged Mr Trump, his son Donald Jr., et sa fille Ivanka Trump were all “closely involved” in alleged actions by the Trump Organization that “used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years.”
“Any question of whether Trump runs seem to have been answered this morning," mentionné New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman of the news on Twitter. “His aides have always signaled that if the investigations progressed that he would run for president again.”
It’s a line of thinking that those close to Trump have been speaking about for months.
Comme L'indépendant’s Andrew Feinberg wrote last February, “According to several former aides and confidantes, Trump will be driven to at least continue to tease a 2024 run because it will enable him to claim that any moves to prosecute him by state or federal prosecutors is nothing more than an attempt to keep him from reclaiming the presidency.”
(À l'époque, Trump adviser Jason Miller dismissed the theory, and called investigations from the New York Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney into the Trump Organization’s finances “the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our country,” led by officials “who try to take down their political opponents using the law as a weapon.”)
L'indépendant has reached out to Donald Trump for comment.
“The only one misleading the public is Letitia James,” a Trump Organization spokesperson told L'indépendant. “She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule.”
The allegations from the AG’s office are the most specific yet in the long-running investigation, and came in a Tuesday night filing related to subpoenas in the inquiry, which the Trump family has fought back against complying with.
The family firm allegedly made misleading statements about the value of at least six Trump Organization properties, including golf clubs in Scotland and New York, as well properties in Manhattan. They allegedly used a variety of tactics to inflate these valuations, from claiming to collect, but never actually pursuing, $150,000 initiation fees at a golf club, to falsely adding an extra 20,000 feet in descriptions of a Trump Tower triplex that weren’t in fact there.
Éric Trump, one of Mr Trump’s sons, tweeted on Wednesday that Ms James’s claims were nothing “more than a PR move to revive a political career after your gubernatorial disaster.” Ms James, un démocrate, backed out of her campaign for governor this year and instead is seeking re-election to the attorney general’s office.
Eric, along with top Trump Organization official Allen Weisselberg, have already sat for depositions as part of the investigation, where they reportedly pleaded the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination hundreds of times.
If the attorney general is successful, her office will force the other Trump children as well as Mr Trump to sit for depositions too, as well as turning over documents.