The Trump Organization must comply with subpoenas from New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) in connection with her investigation into whether the company improperly inflated assets on four properties to obtain tax benefits, a newly unsealed stipulation and order states.
Unsealed on Thursday, the three-page order gives the Trump Organization until Sept. 30 to produce a “report, in reasonable detail, of actions taken to preserve, collect, and produce hard-copy and electronic documents” responsive to the attorney general’s subpoenas. Trump’s real estate empire and the New York’s top prosecutor—who has assisted Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in the criminal prosecution of the former president’s business—secretly agreed to the arrangement on Sept. 3.
James, who began her investigation in March 2019, said that these disclosures are a long time coming.
“For more than a year now, the Trump Organization has failed to adequately respond to our subpoenas, hiding behind procedural delays and excuses,” James wrote in a statement. “Once again, the court has ordered that the Trump Organization must turn over the information and documents we are seeking, otherwise face an independent third-party that will ensure that takes place. Our work will continue undeterred because no one is above the law.”
Under the terms of the stipulation, the Trump Organization must identify the custodians of such records as “any appraisals or other valuations, purchase records, and any balance sheets, income statements, general ledgers, financial statements, or similar materials reflecting the value or financial performance of any Trump Organization property whose value is identified in or incorporated into any Statement of Financial Condition.”
One of the exhibits to the agreement lists 25 custodians, the four of whom are Trump family members Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump—and the last of whom is the company’s now-indicted former CFO Allen Weisselberg.
The company must also “ascertain the likely locations of responsive records, including by means of interviews with potential custodians and other current and former Trump Organization personnel (except, with respect to former Trump Organization personnel, where commercially reasonable efforts are unsuccessful in procuring such an interview),” according to an exhibit.
Attorney General James’s office already grilled Eric Trump late last year before Election Day, after a New York judge rejected a request by the then-president’s scion for a post-Nov. 3 delay.
Erstwhile First Daughter Ivanka Trump complained in the past about being dragged into state AG’s investigations—both in New York and Washington, D.C.
James’s probe spun off from the congressional testimony of Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, which included copies of Donald Trump’s “financial statements for 2011, 2012, and 2013.”
“Cohen testified that these statements inflated the values of Mr. Trump’s assets to obtain favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage, while also deflating the value of other assets to reduce real estate taxes,” the AG noted in a memo explaining the basis of her investigation in August 2020, when the probe first became public.
Other notable custodians of the records include the Trump Organization’s executive vice president and chief legal adviser Alan Garten and Trump’s longtime executive assistant Rhona Graff.
Trump Organization’s counsel did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
Read the stipulation and order below:
[Images via Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images]
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