“James is getting tough,” Manhattan defense attorney Michael Shapiro said.
Here are some of the key conclusions POLITICO has drawn from the lawsuit brought by James:
Trial of Trump’s James lawsuit?don’t count on it
Legal analysts are already discussing the details of the lawsuit and whether it will go to court. Although Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. is reluctant to bring criminal charges for the same conduct.
On the one hand, James only needs to prove that Trump’s actions were fraudulent or illegal by substantial evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt as is necessary in a criminal case. If it seems more likely that Trump knows about false valuations or instructs subordinates to inflate assets and income, that might be enough for James to win.
Trump could also be hurt by repeatedly invoking the Fifth Amendment, which could work against him in civil lawsuits.
However, the true legal value of an AG lawsuit will likely never be tested in court. Both sides have strong incentives to reach a settlement. Tracking a case to completion could take years, and there’s no guarantee a judge will agree to give all the relief the attorney general has requested. Trump appears to have a stronger motive for compromise, as the punitive sanctions James seeks amount to almost a death sentence for his business empire.
Trump’s lawyers have made a settlement offer that James has rejected, but her aides say her office isn’t seeking any immediate court action against Trump, such as one that would quickly oust him. New York ban. The attorney general appeared to underscore her willingness to deal with the harsh punishment she proposed Wednesday.
“Our doors are always open,” James told reporters.
Is ‘everyone doing it’ a Trump defense?
Trump’s legal team said any optimistic analysis of Trump’s finances in bank filings would be in line with practice in real estate and bank financing.
In fact, his lawyers argue, the bankers were not actually deceived by the so-called asset inflation because they made more conservative internal assessments before approving loans to Trump.
On Wednesday, Trump himself offered a “no harm, no foul” defense on his Truth social media site, saying the banks and insurance companies involved were “paid in full, made a lot of money, and never complained. pass me.”
James’ office, however, appears to have taken the position that whether the bank was actually deceived is irrelevant to the legal case — that the alleged intent of Trump, his children and top aides to deceive was for financial gain is sufficient to constitute a violation of the law.
James also said it didn’t matter whether the other parties in Trump’s deal suffered losses, so even if the bank profited from the deal, she could pursue those violations.
James is trying to get the lawsuit heard by New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur N’Gollen, who issued an order requiring Trump and his family to testify in the investigation. The judge appears largely unsympathetic to Trump, so if the case ends up with him, the former president could be in trouble.
Mar-a-Lago FBI Raid Cameo
In a section titled “Ongoing Programs and Conspiracies,” James’ lawsuit points to some of the documents the FBI seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Aug. 18. Aug. 8, 2022 — disclosed in federal court filings, including tax-related records — may have been withheld from her investigators.
“Documentation on tax and accounting information appears to be a response to OAG’s subpoena, but for Mr. Trump there was no such document,” the lawsuit states.
James cited a statement form from Trump attorney Alina Haba, who claimed she conducted a thorough search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and storage area for any records related to James’ investigation. Her search comes days before the Justice Department issued a subpoena for any records marked as classified at Mar-a-Lago.
Russia, Russia, Russia
Some long-lost figures scrutinized by congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller also made cameos in James’ lawsuit. In its section alleging fraud against insurance companies and underwriters, the lawsuit said Trump refused to disclose “anything involving Russia and the 2016 presidential election” during the Jan. 2 period. Meeting with underwriters on Oct. 10, 2017, to assess potential risks in Trump’s efforts to restructure his limited liability policy.
But later, underwriters flagged a number of Russia-related matters as possible concerns, including a June 2016 meeting of Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya provides opposition research on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. claimed he was not interested in the information, and after the release of the Mueller report, it became a largely forgotten chapter of history.
The lawsuit goes on to provide a vast list of subsequent investigations into Trump — Congress, Mueller, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, and other entities — emphasizing that “there are no investigations and investigations … or circumstances arising from these investigations and Inquired that Trump Organization personnel had previously disclosed this information to the underwriters during renewal negotiations.”
Was Trump’s $100 Million Windfall in Washington, D.C. Hotel Based on Lies?
Trump’s large one-time property in Washington, D.C., became an important venue for Trump’s aides and allies during his presidency, and the Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue accounted for a large part — about 100 million USD – The value of the newly filed lawsuit is $250 million.
The attorney general’s complaint alleges that Trump used a grossly inflated personal financial statement, essentially to defraud Deutsche Bank, for less than what was offered for the luxury hotel project without the backing of Trump’s personal wealth $170 million in funding.
Trump sold the hotel in May for a sizable profit many didn’t expect: $100 million. However, any difference between the rate Trump pays and the rate the AG says he should pay is nowhere near that figure. James, however, took the aggressive stance that Trump should pay him (and his family) every penny he (and his family) invested in the entire hotel.
“I’m not sure how the government has the right to get all of this,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor and head of asset forfeiture in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “Calculating how much the government is entitled to is sometimes complicated.”