New York state's attorney general Letitia James is investigating whether Donald Trump improperly inflated the value of his assets in financial documents to get loans and other economic and tax benefits—and she is also demanding that Eric Trump, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, be compelled to testify under oath.
"For months, the Trump Organization has made baseless claims in an effort to shield evidence from a lawful investigation into its financial dealings," AG James said in a statement. "They have stalled, withheld documents, and instructed witnesses, including Eric Trump, to refuse to answer questions under oath."
In the filings today, James said the state was investigating Trump's “Statements of Financial Condition,” documents Trump sent to lenders in which he summarized his assets and debts. The office said it had begun the investigation in March 2019 after Trump’s former lawyer and personal fixer, Michael Cohen, told Congress in February 2019 that Trump had used these statements to inflate his net worth to lenders. You can see Cohen mention it during questioning by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the video below.
Eric Trump was apparently supposed to be interviewed by investigators in late July, but he abruptly canceled that, and is now refusing to cooperate. “We cannot allow the requested interview to go forward... pursuant to those rights afforded to every individual under the Constitution," Trump Organization attorneys told the AG's office.
The Washington Post noted that at least three Trump properties were mentioned in the filings: Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, 40 Wall Street office building in Lower Manhattan and the Seven Springs country estate in Westchester.
Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, said in a statement that, “The Trump Organization has done nothing wrong,” and added that the attorney general’s “continued harassment of the company as we approach the election (and filing of this motion on the first day of the Republican National Convention) once again confirms that this investigation is all about politics.”
Previously, the Trump Foundation — a philanthropic organization which Trump allegedly treated more like a personal pocketbook than a charity — was forced to dissolve because of James, which provoked Trump's ire on Twitter.
In other Trump legal news, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has agreed to hold off on his subpoena to Trump's accounting firm for eight years of Trump's taxes. Although he was legally allowed to enforce the subpoena as of this Friday, he's agreed to wait until two days after the Second Circuit issues its ruling on Trump's stay application; the appeals court will hear the case on Sept. 1st.
Last week, a judge in the Southern District of New York dismissed Trump’s argument that the subpoena was overly broad and issued in bad faith, saying Trump's attorney's argument “amounts to absolute immunity through a back door.”
Earlier this month, court filings suggested that Vance's office is also investigating Trump and the Trump Organization for bank and insurance fraud, in addition to the hush-money payments made leading up to the 2016 presidential election to women who said they had affairs with Trump.