New York attorney general Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against former president Trump and three of his children, alleging business fraud.
The move by James’ office comes on the heels of a years-long civil investigation into the Trump family’s real estate business, the Trump Organization. The investigation has centered on whether the former president’s company misled investors and tax authorities by inflating property values to get investments and subsequently deflating them to get tax and loan benefits.
The lawsuit also targets Trump’s three adult children: Eric, Ivanka, and Donald Jr. who have all held senior executives at the Trump Organization.
The New York AG’s lawsuit comes after she rejected an offer from the former president’s legal team to settle the civil investigation into his business.
If the case goes to trial and Trump loses, a judge could potentially impose financial penalties and restrict the former president’s business operations in New York — all potentially in the midst of a 2024 presidential campaign that he is expected to join.
It is possible that James, as part of her lawsuit, could seek to curtail Trump’s Manhattan real estate portfolio, though she has given mixed signals publicly about what sort of punishment she will seek to impose.
Trump has long dismissed the investigation as a “phony years-long crusade” against him and criticized James for the inquiry.
“Today’s filing is neither focused on the facts nor the law — rather, it is solely focused on advancing the Attorney General’s political agenda,” Alina Habba, a Trump attorney who has represented the former president in New York-based and Trump Organization litigation. “It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General’s Office has exceeded its statutory authority by prying into transactions where absolutely no wrongdoing has taken place. We are confident that our judicial system will not stand for this unchecked abuse of authority, and we look forward to defending our client against each and every one of the Attorney General’s meritless claims.”
This story is developing. Stay with Great America’s News Desk for the latest updates.