Former President Donald Trump and three of his children have been sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who alleged that the family committed widespread fraud.
According to Politico, James seeks $250 million in allegedly illegal profits and to bar Trump’s family — including Donald J. Trump, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — from any real estate transactions for five years.
Driving the news: They are accused of “lying to lenders and insurers by fraudulently overvaluing his assets by billions of dollars,” per The New York Times.
Details: The 220-page lawsuit concluded that state criminal laws, and possibly federal laws, have been violated. The case has been referred to Manhattan’s federal prosecutors.
- It states that financial statements were widely inflated for every prominent property — including Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street.
- The company also reportedly ignored the assessment of outside experts. The Times reported that when a bank found that 40 Wall Street was worth $200 million, the company continued to value the property at over twice that amount.
What did Trump say: In one Truth Social post, Trump said that instead of “fighting murder and violent crime” in New York, the attorney general is “fighting for very powerful and well represented banks and insurance companies, who were fully paid” and “made a lot of money.”
- “Another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General, Letitia James, who failed in her run for Governor, getting almost zero support from the public, and now is doing poorly against Law & Order A.G. candidate, highly respected Michael Henry,” Trump said in another Truth Social post.
Trump’s legal team said that the filing “is neither focused on the facts nor the law — rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” per Politico.
- “It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place,” said Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney. “We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”
What did the attorney general say: “The pattern of fraud and deception that was used by Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization for their own financial benefit is astounding,” James said in a news conference, per Reuters.
- “Claiming that you have money that you do not have does not amount to the ‘art of the deal,’ it’s the art of the steal,” James said, referring to Trump’s 1987 book.