A new judicial front was opened at home this Wednesday to donald trump The Attorney General of the State of New York, Letitia James, an old rival, has sued him and his three eldest children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, “for dedicating themselves for years to a financial fraud focused on their own enrichment and that of the Trump Organization,” James clarified on Twitter, who has been investigating these practices for three years. In a subsequent press conference, he shared his conviction that “Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system.” At the same time, the investigator affirms that the defendants reduced the value of his wealth to the treasury in order to pay less taxes. James wants to impose a fine of about 250 million dollars (a similar amount of euros) on the family.
The 222-page lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan court, outlines 200 fraud violations and holds the father, sons and family company responsible for manipulating Trump’s tax returns between 2011 and 2021, lying to lenders and insurance companies by overvaluing their assets by billions of dollars as part of a large-scale scam. Among those 23 properties are some as emblematic as the Mar-a-Lago Club, in Florida; the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York; and the hotel in Washington, which it rented from the federal government until it was sold in May of this year to an investment group. It so happens that during four years of the second part of the investigated decade, the main accused was the president of the United States.
The investigation of James, a member of the Democratic Party, has focused on clarifying whether the value of the tycoon’s properties was altered to obtain tax benefits, as well as to obtain bank loans. “Stating that you have money that you don’t have is not an expression of the art of selling. It’s more about the art of stealing,” James said in a parody reference to the title of Trump’s most famous book. (The Art of the Deal, of 1987, translated into Spanish as the art of selling). “There are not two sets of laws for the people of this nation: former presidents must respond like the rest of Americans,” said the attorney general, who became the first African-American woman to hold office in 2018.
Today, I filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for engaging in years of financial fraud to enrich himself, his family, and the Trump Organization.
There aren’t two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) September 21, 2022
Beyond the monumental fine, the goals of the lawsuit are: to bar the Trumps from ever doing business in New York State; ban your organization from the city’s real estate market for five years; and share the fruit of their research with the Department of Justice, that he has two open cases against the tycoon: for his actions -and, above all, his inactions- during the attack to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and for the classified documents that he took from the White House and were found in early August, during an FBI search of his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
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James told reporters that when he appeared under oath during the investigation, Trump repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying against himself. “For too long, the rich and powerful have operated in this country as if the rules don’t apply to them,” he added: “Donald Trump is one of the most egregious examples of this misconduct.” Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, have also done everything possible to avoid testifying and deliver the commercial documents requested by the Prosecutor’s Office.
The former president has been more eloquent in dispatching the latest accusations, which he denies, as part of a “political persecution” strategy. The argument is not new: he reuses it whenever the opportunity arises to criticize the judicial investigations that in recent months have surrounded him with the imminence of the legislative elections in November, in which Democrats and Republicans, still under the shadow of Trump, control of the Capitol is at stake. Donald Jr., surely the son who is most in tune with his father, has reacted to the news from New York with a message on Twitter in which a video of James is accompanied by the following message: “The bullshit of hunting! witchcraft continues!”