New York State Attorneys are filing a civil lawsuit against former US President Donald Trump for fraud. Charges will also be brought against Trump’s company and his children Donald Junior, Eric and Ivanka, Attorney General Letitia James announced in New York on Wednesday.
Trump broke the law to “make profits for himself, his family and his company,” James said in a press conference. According to the allegations, the defendants are said to have increased or decreased their finances depending on their needs, for example to get easier access to loans or to pay less taxes.
She says she is seeking fines totaling $250 million. In addition, Trump and his children Donald Junior, Ivanka and Eric should be permanently banned from running companies based in New York State. Trump and his family holding company, the Trump Organization, should also be banned from acquiring real estate in New York State for a period of five years.
Investigations over three years
James led civil investigations into Trump’s corporate empire for more than three years and spoke to 65 witnesses for the prosecution, according to Wednesday’s reports. It also evaluated “millions of documents”. Trump’s company denies the allegations. James had wanted to question the ex-president under oath in early August, but he refused.
Trump locates “witch hunt”
Trump again dismissed the allegations as party-politically motivated “witch hunts”. In a message on his online network Truth Social, he described New York Attorney General James as a “racist”. In the United States, Attorneys General usually belong to a party and are elected by the people in many states. James is a member of the Democratic Party and serves in the New York state government.
There are allegations against the 76-year-old in many instances. Among other things, the FBI is said to have secured confidential and secret documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. In the state of Georgia, he is said to have unlawfully pressured the election commission to show him additional votes in the 2020 election.
In addition, a committee of inquiry is looking into his role in the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and could end up recommending that he be prosecuted.
Trump regularly hinted that he would run again for president in 2024, but has not yet officially announced it. Experts consider it unlikely that one of the often multi-year procedures with opportunities for revision and renegotiation before the election in November 2024 would lead to a conviction.