tax investigation | New York judge orders Trump to testify

(New York) A New York judge Thursday ordered Donald Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr and Ivanka, to testify under oath as part of the attorney general’s civil investigation into his group’s tax practices. suspected of fraud.

Posted at 3:25 pm.
Updated at 7:50 PM.

Andrea Bambino
France media agency

This is a new setback for the former president and Republican businessman, who has questioned his intention to seek his party’s nomination again for the 2024 presidential election.

However, Donald Trump, 75, can still appeal the judge’s decision and can, in any event, choose not to answer questions from Letitia James, whose investigation he described as a “witch hunt.”

After a video hearing Thursday, Judge Arthur Engoron denied the Trump camp’s request to rescind a testimonial request made by Democratic Prosecutor Letitia James.

As a result, the judge ordered 45And the The President of the United States must “appear and testify within 21 days of this decision.” An order that also applies to his two children, who are also in the crosshairs of Laetitia James, and to a request that accounting documents be submitted for the investigation.

“Justice prevailed,” the attorney general immediately welcomed in a press release.

No one will be allowed to stand in the way of justice, no matter how strong they are. Added Laetitia James, who dropped out of the Democratic nomination race for New York’s governor at the end of 2021 to focus on her judicial careers.

“false data”

For the former president’s lawyers, Thursday’s decision “confirms what we’ve already known for some time: Donald Trump cannot benefit from a fair decision in the state of New York.”

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“It is clear that the court had a preconceived notion and had no desire to engage in an impartial discussion on this very important issue,” Alina Hobba said in a statement sent to AFP.

The civil investigation was accelerated in January when Letitia James announced that she had collected “significant evidence indicating that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued a number of assets”, in order to obtain economic profits.

These actions are taking place in parallel with a separate investigation, this time criminal and carried out by the Office of the Attorney General in Manhattan, in which the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been charged with tax evasion. They have pleaded not guilty and the trial is set to begin in mid-2022.

For her part, Letitia James asked to hear from Donald Trump and her two children in early December. On January 18, she confirmed her suspicions in a court document of more than 100 pages. It suspects that the Trump Organization “fraudulently” overvalued certain properties when applying for loans from banks and undervalued those same properties with tax authorities in order to pay lower taxes.

According to her, Donald Trump has “the authority to make decisions about a wide range of practices in the Trump Organization, including misrepresentations of third parties, including financial institutions and the US tax authorities (IRS)”.

Untrusted

To illustrate the point, Letitia James presented a document this week in which Donald Trump’s historical accounting firm Mazars alleged that its decade-old financial statements were unreliable. Mazars also told the Trump Organization that he would no longer work with the group.

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The Trump family had been accusing Attorney General James for “political” motives for months, an argument that did not convince Justice Ingoron. On Thursday, he wrote that refraining from conducting investigations or requiring Donald Trump to testify “would have constituted a flagrant breach of duty” by the attorney general, and also removes any controversy over “Leetitia James’ personal animosity.”

Donald Trump’s lawyers stressed during the hearing the danger of their client testifying in this civil investigation, while a criminal investigation was opened in parallel, accusing the plaintiffs of working hand in hand to feed their files.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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