New York attorney general subpoenas Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump – report

Letitia James reportedly issues subpoenas to pair as part of fraud investigation into former president’s business empire

The attorney general of New York state has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump as part of its fraud inquiry into Trump’s businesses, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing a court document.

The document was filed by lawyers for Trump in response to Letitia James’s decision to subpoena the former president himself.

Trump alleges that James’s investigation is politically motivated.

The Times said the subpoenas for Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr “were served on 1 December, according to a person with knowledge of the matter”.

The paper also noted that Eric Trump, another of Trump’s adult children, was questioned in the case in October 2020. James’ office went to court to enforce a subpoena on the younger Trump brother and a judge forced him to testify after his lawyers abruptly canceled a scheduled deposition.

James’s civil investigation is focused on tax affairs at the Trump Organization, specifically whether assets were inflated or understated to influence tax valuations.

In one such alleged instance, in 2016, the Guardian reported on differing valuations of a golf club outside New York City. The headline: How Trump’s $50m golf club became $1.4m when it came time to pay tax. Trump denies wrongdoing.

The former president’s business and tax affairs are also the subject of a criminal investigation in Manhattan, in progress for more than three years and joined by James last May.

Last year, the then Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr, gained access to Donald Trump’s tax records after a multiyear fight that twice went to the US supreme court.

Before he left office at the end of last year, Vance convened a new grand jury to hear evidence as he weighed whether to seek more indictments in the investigation, which resulted in tax fraud charges in July against the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he and the company evaded taxes on lucrative fringe benefits paid to executives.

Both investigations are at least partly related to allegations made in news reports and by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, that Trump had a history of misrepresenting the value of assets.

James’ office issued subpoenas to local governments for records pertaining to Trump’s estate north of Manhattan, Seven Springs, and a tax benefit Trump received for placing land into a conservation trust. Vance issued subpoenas seeking many of the same records.

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

James and the Trump Organization did not immediately comment on the subpoenas for Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr.

Guardian staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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