Eric Trump Testifies in New York Probe of Asset Valuations
U.S. President Donald Trump’s son Eric was questioned under oath by the New York attorney general’s office, which is probing whether the family’s real-estate company falsely reported property values to get loans or tax benefits, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Eric Trump, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, was deposed by state investigators on Monday via video-conference, said the person, who declined to be identified discussing the matter. Trump had initially refused to provide testimony, then unsuccessfully tried to postpone the questioning until after the November election.
The probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James is focusing on an obscure property called Seven Springs on 212 acres outside New York City, as well as transactions involving the Trump-owned 40 Wall Street building in lower Manhattan, a Los Angeles golf club and the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago. The company has denied wrongdoing.
Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer and fixer who has become a vocal critic, has said his ex-boss inflated the value of his assets “when it suited him” and deflated the same figures to reduce his tax liability.
Read More: Trump Faces N.Y. Probe Into Valuation of Assets to Get Loans
New York state court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered Eric Trump to sit for the deposition by Oct. 7 after James took legal action to enforce seven subpoenas for documents and testimony that the Trump Organization was withholding. The judge rejected Trump’s argument that he was too busy working on his father’s re-election campaign to submit to questioning.
Eric Trump’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
The Trump company, which turned over thousands of documents to James, a Democrat, has accused her of weaponizing the investigation for political purposes ahead of the election. The probe, however, isn’t likely to be finished or result in any public findings before Nov. 3.
Also on Monday, the attorney general’s office advised Engoron in a court filing that former Trump land-use lawyer Charles Martabano, who was also subpoenaed in the case, had provided an updated log of hundreds of documents that he believed were protected by attorney-client privilege.
The state says the update shows Martabano, who last worked for the Trump Organization in 2014, withheld documents related to the Seven Springs property as well as communications with Eric Trump.
“The log further establishes that the Trump Organization appears to have known for months that Mr. Martabano was withholding hundreds of documents that he had never logged,” the AG’s office said. “The court should consider the reliability of the Trump Organization’s other factual representations in this matter.”
George Calginini, Martabano’s lawyer, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
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