New York attorney general files motion to compel Trump testimony in fraud investigation
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New York attorney general files motion to compel Trump testimony in fraud investigation

The New York Attorney General’s office Tuesday filed a motion to compel testimony by former president Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump in connection with an investigation into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.

Attorney General Letitia James is seeking to have the court enforce subpoenas that the attorney general’s office issued to the Trumps at the beginning of December. The investigation into the Trump Organization began in 2019, after Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified to Congress that the organization had inflated the values of Trump’s assets to obtain loans and insurance, while at the same time deflating the value of other assets to reduce the real estate tax burden. For example, Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower was valued at $327 million. However, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg testified to the attorney general’s office that it was overvalued by “give or take” $200 million.

More than a dozen current and former Trump Organization employees have already provided testimony to the attorney general’s office, but the three Trumps have refused. The Trumps are high-ranking personnel within the Trump Organization. Donald Trump is the owner, while his son Donald Jr. runs the organization along with his brother, Eric Trump, who already sat for a deposition last year. Ivanka Trump was Executive Vice President for Development and Acquisitions through 2016 and was the organization’s primary contact with Deutsche Bank, the organization’s largest lender.

The attorney general’s motion comes as a response to a motion by the Trumps to quash the subpoenas. Calling that motion a “delay tactic,” James said that the investigation has uncovered “significant evidence” that the Trump Organization fraudulently misvalued multiple assets for its economic benefit. “The Trumps must comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony because no one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them,” she said.