The former president sat for a seven-hour deposition Thursday in a civil case brought by New York’s Democrat Attorney General Leticia James that seeks to ruin him financially. Trump was deposed in the case once before and repeatedly took the Fifth Amendment.
James alleges that Trump and three of his children engaged in “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentations.”
“He remains resolute in his stance that he has nothing to conceal, and he looks forward to educating the attorney general about the immense success of his multi-billion dollar company,” Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a statement.
James ran for attorney general in 2018 on a platform of taking down Trump’s business empire.
“….In any event, it goes on and on & the new AG, who is now being replaced by yet another AG (who openly campaigned on a GET TRUMP agenda), does little else but rant, rave & politic against me. Will never be treated fairly by these people – a total double standard of ‘justice,’” Trump tweeted in December 2018.
The suit seeks to destroy the Trump Organization. It asks the court to “permanently bar Mr. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in any New York corporation or similar business entity registered and/or licensed in New York state.” It also asks that the Trump Organization be barred from engaging in any real estate transactions for five years and for $250 million in damages.
She claims the former president grossly inflated the former president’s net worth in the Trump Organization’s annual statements by billions to get banks to lend him money. The suit alleges that the Trump Organization would not have otherwise been able to obtain the loan covenants or insurance with favorable terms.
“Mr. Trump’s Statements of Financial Condition for the period 2011 through 2021 were fraudulent and misleading in both their composition and presentation. The number of grossly inflated asset values is staggering, affecting most if not all of the real estate holdings in any given year. All told, Mr. Trump, the Trump Organization, and the other Defendants, as part of a repeated pattern and common scheme, derived more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets,” the lawsuit states.
The attorney general alleges that Trump failed to follow basic accounting practices and changed the accounting methods his company used from year to year.
It claims as an example that the Trump Organization valued some of its properties significantly higher than in prior years. In one case cited in the brief, the Trump Organization valued a commercial property at $524 million in 2011 when the bank appraised the same property in 2011 at $220 million.
This is the latest case in the former president’s legal headaches. His attorney Joe Tacopina asked Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan to postpone the civil trial in the defamation case brought against him by E. Jean Carroll, a writer who claims Trump raped her in the 1990s this week.
Tacopina called for a cooling off period in the wake of the president’s criminal indictment on business fraud charges related to a payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels. The trial is supposed to start on April 25, but Tacopina asked for it to be delayed a month.
Trump also faces legal jeopardy from a pending grand jury in Georgia investigating his activities following his loss in 2020. A federal investigation of his role in January 6 and the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago also threatens him.
This case will likely go to trial later this year.
John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.