Donald Trump and children Ivanka and Don refuse to comply with subpoenaed by New York’s top prosecutor in fraud probe

‘Despite attempts to delay our investigation we are confident our questions will be answered and truth uncovered because no one is above the law’

Andrew Buncombe
Monday 03 January 2022 17:46
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Donald Trump and his two oldest children – Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka – have been subpoenaed by New York’s top prosecutor as part of a fraud probe.

A filing from New York’s attorney general Letitia James’s office said investigators were seeking testimony from the trio, along with documents from the family business. ABC News said the latest filing from the prosecutor’s office suggested the pair had declined to comply.

The prosecutor’s office recently filed the subpoenas, in an attempt to force the former president and his children to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the Trump Organisation, the company that includes about 500 business entities owned by Mr Trump and his family members.

The New York Times said subpoenas for the former president and two of his children were served on 1 December, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. It added that Eric Trump, another of Mr Trump’s sons, was already questioned by Ms James’s office as far back as October 2020.

It was reported last month that Ms James, who briefly launched a campaign for governor of New York, was seeking to question Mr Trump as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud at the organisation, initially established by the former president’s father.

She had reportedly suggested 7 January as a date for him to come to her New York office to provide testimony for the civil investigation into whether Mr Trump’s company committed financial fraud in the valuations of properties to different entities.

But on Monday, it was revealed that Ms James also wanted to interview Donald Trump Jr, 44, and Ivanka Trump, 40. The court filing said the prosecutor’s office wanted to speak to them “in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J Trump or the Trump Organisation”.

The Trump Organisation did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Independent.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said: “As her investigation into financial dealing of the Trump Organisation continues, Attorney General James is seeking interviews under oath of Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and Ivanka Trump. Despite numerous attempts to delay our investigation by the Trump Organisation, we are confident that our questions will be answered and the truth will be uncovered because no one is above the law.”

Ms James’s office also did not reply to questions.

However, at the time it was reported Ms James wanted to speak to the former president, Mr Trump denounced her investigation.

The filing was first public confirmation New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking testimony from former president

“This is another political witch-hunt,” the Trump Organisation said in a statement.

“New York is being overrun by violence, children are being shot in Times Square, arsonists are setting Christmas decorations ablaze and homelessness is through the roof, yet the only focus of the New York AG is to investigate Trump, all for her own political ambitions as she attempts to run for governor. This political persecution is illegal, unethical and is a travesty to our great state and legal system.”

The Associated Press said the Trumps were expected to file court papers seeking to quash the subpoenas, setting up a legal fight similar to one that played out last year after Ms James's office subpoenaed Eric Trump, 37.

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The former president sued Ms James last month, seeking to end the investigation after she requested that he sit for a deposition. Mr Trump's lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that the probe had violated his constitutional rights in a “thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates”.

Monday's court filing was the attorney general office's first public acknowledgement that it has previously subpoenaed Mr Trump's testimony.

Ms James, a Democrat, has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organisation misled banks or tax officials about the value of assets – inflating them to gain favorable loan terms or minimising them to reap tax savings.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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