Following a three-year investigation, Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against former President Donald Trump.
“The complaint shows that Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself, to cheat the system,” James said at a news conference.
The lawsuit also targets members of Trump’s longtime executive team, including members of his family: Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.
In response to the lawsuit, Donald Trump Jr. used a swear word on Twitter alongside a video of James: “Dem’s witch hunt continues!” hey wrote.
During his news conference, James acknowledged that he would face criticism that his lawsuit is partisan. He noted that his three-year investigation into Trump “only began after Michael Cohen, his former attorney, testified before Congress about this conduct.”
According to James, the Trump operation “repeatedly and consistently manipulated the value of assets” to obtain favorable loan terms from banks and reduce tax payments.
“This conduct was a violation of New York State law,” James said.
James is seeking approximately $250 million in fines and is also seeking to permanently bar Trump, his children and members of his executive team from operating businesses in New York state.
The lawsuit also aims to bar Trump and his organization from buying commercial real estate in New York for five years.
This lawsuit is being filed in civil court, but James also alleged that Trump’s operation violated state and federal criminal laws. She said a “criminal referral” is being sent to the US Department of Justice.
“In short, he lied to make huge financial gains for himself,” James said in a post on Twitter.
During the press conference, James noted that when he conducted tests under oath during the investigation, Trump repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to prevent the tests.
He also noted that prior to Wednesday’s announcement, his office had rejected a settlement offer from Trump and his organization.
James detailed Trump’s business practices that she claimed were fraudulent, including the “representation that Mr. Trump had cash on hand that he did not,” while also “grossly” inflating the market value of his real estate holdings. in the state of New York and Florida. .
According to James, the behavior clearly represented “fraud” and not a “mistake.”
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.