In a further legal blow to the former president, the judge in the federal court dismissed Trump’s efforts to block his New York attorney general’s investigation into his business.
A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump against the attorney general of New York following his claim that her probe into his business dealings was biased politically and violated his rights under the Constitution.
The ruling permits New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into the Trump organization. A day following the state court decision, Trump and his two elder children had to answer questions under oath, under James the subpoena issued earlier.
U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes, in her 43-page decision, stated that Trump along with his team cited numerous remarks made by James, which they say show “personal animus toward Mr. Trump and evince an intent to retaliate for or stifle plaintiffs’ free speech” she noted that they could not demonstrate that James’s attempt to subpoena the firm and its employees “was commenced for retaliation.”
The revelations are a result of an extensive investigation conducted by James. He is the head of The Trump Organization, spurred by testimony before Congress regarding Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen described as misleading valuations of assets. In March, an investigation of James’ office revealed “significant evidence” suggesting that the Trump Organization, for more than ten years, relied upon false valuations of assets on its annual financial reports for “secure economic benefits,” the office claimed in court documents.
“The evidence collected to date suggests that financial statements, tax submissions, loan guarantees, and other documents contain material misstatements and omissions,” the reports prepared by James declared. “These misrepresentations appear to have been aimed at portraying Mr. Trump’s net worth and liquidity as higher than the facts warranted, to secure economic benefits to which Mr. Trump might not otherwise have been entitled.”
The court papers claim that the evidence indicates that the false representations of assets could be a violation of “breached contractual covenants, required recalculating the assets’ actual worth, altered the transactions’ risk profile, or caused the businesses to reconsider entering the transactions,” resulted from Trump’s appeal against the order of a judge in a state court which required Trump to take part in interviews under oath.
This time last year, Trump, along with his kids, sought to block the subpoenas issued by James the office of James and argued that the civil probe was being conducted to assist the criminal investigation that James’s office was involved in. Allowing the testimony in the civil trial that they claimed may be used to bolster their case in the criminal trial and without the safeguards, New York law would require for them to testify before the grand juror in the criminal trial could set a “dangerous precedent,” according to the lawyers of the Trump Organization.
James stated in her filing she issued subpoenas to three people “to help reach a final determination about whether there has been civil fraud and who may be responsible for such fraud,” noting that “civil subpoenas do not compel appellants to provide information that may be used against them in a future criminal case.”