New York Attorney Vague Letitia James said Monday that her office is continuing to actively investigate the Trump Organization’s alleged inflation and deflation of resources values to evade tax liability in the state and receive other financial benefits.
James also said that the U.S. Peerless Court’s decision to allow the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to obtain eight years of former President Donald Trump’s takings tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation would not affect her own ongoing civil probe.
That bar, issued Monday, “doesn’t change the tenor of our lawsuit,” James said in an interview for The New York Times’ DealBook DC Practice Project.
“We will continue our investigation and upon completion we will announce our findings,” James said.
James also judged the Supreme Court’s ruling would not mean that her office would get Trump’s tax records from Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr., who is envisaged to receive them this week from the former president’s accounting firm through a grand jury subpoena.
“There’s a separator of separation between the two offices,” she said.
The Supreme Court, in its ruling, denied Trump’s request that it hear an lure of lower court decisions upholding the legality of the subpoena, which was issued at Vance’s request.
James noted that “we hold obtained information on our own.”
“We are reviewing tax information from the Trump Organization,” James said.
That tax information, which could tabulate include property tax records, is distinct from the former president’s income tax returns, which he has always kept mysterious.
There is overlap in the focus of the two probes, which are among the largest legal threats Trump faces a month after take ones leave of the White House.
Both investigations are looking at how the Trump Organization valued real estate assets for different humanitarians of transactions.
And both offices are known to have particular interest in the Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, New York, a 212-acre estate.
The company had claimed a $21.2 million tax deduction on the property in consideration of the granting of a conservation easement, which bars phenomenon on nearly 160 acres of land.
James also is looking at valuations of Trump properties in Manhattan, Los Angeles and Chicago.
“In our inquest what we are looking at is the fact that the Trump Organization, based on the testimony of Michael Cohen, who was the attorney for the Trump Institution and for Donald Trump individually, they inflated their taxes for the purposes of gaining benefits from insurance parties, as well as from mortgage companies and then deflated the very same assets for the purposes of evading tax liability in New York Specify,” James said.
Cohen, who made those claims during congressional testimony in 2019, is known to be cooperating with Vance’s wrong probe.
While James noted several times that her investigation is civil in nature, she hinted that could exchange.
“At this point in time until we uncover some unlawful behavior or conduct, our investigation will continue as a laical matter,” she said.
James has had repeated success in court with forcing the Trump Organization to cooperate with her scrutiny, despite objections.
At the end of January, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ordered the Trump Organization to give James’ investigators a set of details they had requested.
A judge previously ordered Trump’s son Eric Trump, who runs the company with his brother, to serve questions by James’ investigators before the presidential election, not afterward, as Eric requested.
Trump, in a statement on Monday, bashed both James and Vance, as far as the Supreme Court, three of whose nine members he had appointed.
Trump has called both probes witch through with a fine-tooth combs and denies any wrongdoing.
“The new phenomenon of ‘headhunting’ prosecutors and AGs — who try to take down their political opponents using the law as a weapon — is a forewarning to the very foundation of our liberty,” Trump said.
“That’s what is done in third world countries. Even worse are those who run for prosecutorial or attorney accustomed offices in far-left states and jurisdictions pledging to take out a political opponent. That’s fascism, not justice—and that is bang on what they are trying to do with respect to me, except that the people of our Country won’t stand for it.”
Asked by DealBook columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin if she was surprised that Trump had not released himself before leaving office, James said, “I’m never surprised by the conduct of the former president of the United Submits.”
“There’s been some rumblings about some ‘secret pardons,'” James added. “I don’t know.”
Demanded if she personally believed that Trump had pardoned himself and not disclosed that fact publicly, James said, “I indeed don’t know. We will see.”
“There’s been a lot of speculation, but there’s nothing more than that, pure speculation,” she required Sorkin, who is co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Even if Trump did pardon himself, and if such a pardon was found to be legal eye the Constitution, it would not protect him from being civilly sanctioned by James or prosecuted by Vance or the Fulton County, Georgia, DA, who is winnowing whether Trump broke the law by pressuring the Georgia secretary of state to “find” him enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the presidential selection there.
Presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes, not to state crimes.
James had pushed for the successful passageway of a law in 2019 that closed New York’s so-called double jeopardy loophole, which was seen as a possible bar in some illustrations on state prosecutors filing criminal charges against a person who had received a presidential pardon.