Share
News

Attorney General Announces Criminal Investigation of Trump Organization

Share

The New York attorney general’s office said Tuesday that it is conducting a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business empire, expanding what had previously been a civil probe.

“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the company is no longer purely civil in nature,” Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Attorney General Letitia James, said in a statement.

“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA,” Levy said.

James’ investigators are working with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has been conducting a criminal investigation into Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, for two years.

James and District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are both Democrats.

Trending:
Border Agents Furious After What Kamala Harris Said About Them

James’ office offered no explanation for what prompted the change in its approach to the investigation or why it chose to announce it publicly. CNN was first to report the development.

Levy declined further comment. A representative of Vance also declined to comment.

A message seeking comment was left with a lawyer for Trump as well as representatives of the former president and his company. He also had not commented on the news on his platform, DonaldJTrump.com/desk, as of Wednesday morning.

In the past, however, Trump has decried the investigations as part of a Democratic “witch hunt.”

Do you think this investigation is politically motivated?

James’ disclosure of a widening investigation is not necessarily an indication that she is planning to bring criminal charges. In New York, if that were to happen, the state attorney general can do so through a county district attorney, like Vance, or with a referral from Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo or a state agency.

James’ civil investigation and Vance’s criminal probe had overlapped in some areas, including examining whether Trump or his businesses manipulated the value of assets — inflating them in some cases and minimizing them in others — to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits.

Vance’s investigation also included a look at hush-money payments paid to women on Trump’s behalf and the propriety of tax write-offs the Trump Organization claimed on millions of dollars in consulting fees it paid, including money that went to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

Vance’s office hasn’t publicly said what it is investigating, citing grand jury secrecy rules, but some details have come out during a legal battle to get access to Trump’s tax records, which it obtained in February.

As part of her civil investigation, James’ office issued subpoenas to local governments in November 2019 for records pertaining to Trump’s estate north of Manhattan, Seven Springs, and a tax benefit Trump received for placing land there into a conservation trust.

Related:
Gun-Toting McCloskeys Facing Official Effort to Have Their Law Licenses Suspended

James was also looking at similar issues relating to a Trump office building in New York City, a hotel in Chicago and a golf course near Los Angeles. Her office also won a series of court rulings forcing Trump’s company and a law firm it hired to turn over troves of records.

Vance’s investigation has also appeared to focus in recent weeks on the Trump Organization’s longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.

His former daughter-in-law, Jen Weisselberg, has given investigators reams of documents as they look into how some Trump employees were compensated with apartments or school tuition.

Weisselberg was subpoenaed in James’ civil investigation and testified twice in 2020. His lawyer didn’t immediately respond to an email Tuesday night.

James had made it clear years ago that she would make pursuing Trump and his family one of her priorities.

“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” the Democrat told NBC News in December 2018, a month after she was elected.

“It is a priority because I have concerns with respect to the possibility that this administration might pardon some individuals who might face some criminal charges, but I do not want them to be immune from state charges,” James added.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation