Judge reverses ruling on Trump Organization subpoena

Setback for NY attorney general seeking documents on company’s real estate

National /
Oct.October 09, 2020 10:30 AM
Eric Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James (Getty)

Eric Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James (Getty)

Lawyers for the Trump Organization have persuaded a Manhattan judge to reconsider allowing New York Attorney General Letitia James to enforce a subpoena.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that although he said last month that attorneys for the Trump Organization should hand over documents related to property valuations, he will now review those documents first, Bloomberg reported.

Engoron granted a petition from the Trump Organization to reconsider whether its lawyers had foregone attorney-client privilege by not providing the state an accurate log of the documents.

The ruling is a setback for James, although the judge may still provide her with the documents after he reviews them.

James previously argued that the Trump Organization failed to provide an appropriate accounting of the documents, despite repeated attempts, and took legal action in August. In September, Engoron ruled that President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump, who oversees the Trump Organization’s business, would sit for a sworn deposition sometime before Oct. 7.

James initiated the probe into the Trump Organization’s finances in 2019 after Michael Cohen testified before Congress that the company falsely reported the values of its real estate assets.

Four properties are at the center of the investigation into whether the Trump Organization inflated property values to secure financing and property tax benefits: the mixed-use building 40 Wall Street, Seven Springs Estate in Westchester County, the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.

The New York Times reported that the Trump Organization valued the Seven Springs Estate at $291 million in 2012, but in 2018 the business reported it was worth $50 million. During that period, the Trump Organization received a $21 million tax break for land conservation. [Bloomberg] — Georgia Kromrei 


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