The investigation by the attorney general’s office into the Trump Organization, which has been ongoing since 2019, will also continue as an ongoing civil investigation. Still, this Tuesday night, the office briefed Trump Organization officials on the criminal component.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office, which was already conducting a civil investigation by former President Donald Trump’s company, is now investigating the Trump Organization “as a criminal,” his spokesman said Tuesday night.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization as a criminal, along with the Manhattan District Attorney. We have no additional comments at this time,” Fabien Levy, a spokesman for the New York attorney general’s office, said in a statement.
The announcement means Trump now faces two criminal investigations active in his former home state: one by James and the other by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Letitia James leads a criminal investigation into whether Trump’s company falsely reported the value of properties to secure loans and make economic and fiscal profits. His research focused on a Trump office building in New York City, a Chicago hotel and a golf course near Los Angeles.
His office also won a series of court rulings that forced Trump’s company and a law firm that hired him to hand over a large number of records.
For its part, Vance’s Manhattan office has said in court documents that it was investigating “possibly extensive and prolonged criminal conduct” in the former president’s Trump Organization, including tax and insurance fraud and forgery of trade records.
Vance’s investigation began after Trump’s ex-abortion and repairman, Michael Cohen, paid money to silence two women before the 2016 election for alleged sexual encounters with Trump. That investigation has accelerated since Republican Trump lost his candidacy for a second term to Democratic President Joe Biden.
James’ civil investigation and Vance’s criminal investigation overlapped in some areas, including examining whether Trump or his companies manipulated the value of assets, inflating them in some cases, and minimizing them in others, to obtain favorable loan terms and tax benefits.
As part of his civil investigation, James’ office issued subpoenas to local governments in November 2019 for records related to Trump’s property north of Manhattan, Seven Springs, and a tax benefit Trump received for placing land there in a conservation trust.
Vance’s research also seemed to focus on Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in recent weeks. His former son-in-law, Jen Weisselberg, has given investigators a wealth of documents while analyzing how some Trump employees were made up of apartments or school enrolments.
Weisselberg was quoted in James’ civil investigation and testified twice in 2020.
However, James’ revelation of an ever-widening investigation is not necessarily an indication that he plans to file criminal charges. In the past, the former Republican president has criticized the studies as part of a Democratic “witch hunt.”
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Michael Flynn. Donald Trump’s former security partner. He was convicted of making false statements to federal officials during the ‘Russiagate’ investigation, a crime for which he himself pleaded guilty. The president announced his pardon on November 25, 2020.