By Jake Kaplan
Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a court to compel former President Donald Trump and his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to testify as part of the AG’s civil investigation into the Trump Organization.
- James has been investigating Trump’s business dealings for over two years. Last month, James sought testimony from the Trumps, but they refused and moved to quash the subpoena.
- In the latest court filing that asks the court to force the Trumps to testify, James accuses the Trump Organization of misrepresenting the value of its assets to lenders, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service, and engaging in “fraudulent or misleading” business practices.
- In a statement, James said the investigation has “uncovered significant evidence that suggests Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets and misrepresented those values to financial institutions for economic benefit.”
- The filing outlines specific instances of misleading valuations for Trump properties, including, among others, Donald Trump’s apartment in Trump Tower, golf clubs in New York and Scotland, and the “Trump Brand.” For example, James asserts that Trump represented the size of his Trump Tower apartment as 30,000 square feet, however, the apartment is actually 10,996 square feet, and “documents confirming that fact were signed by Mr. Trump himself in 2012.” James asserts that this increased the valuation of the apartment.
The January 6th committee is narrowing in on Trump’s inner circle.
- On Thursday, the committee asked Ivanka Trump to voluntarily speak with the committee. According to the committee, “Ms. Trump’s role and actions on January 6th as the riot was underway at the Capitol are also a key focus for the Select Committee.”
- On Tuesday, the committee subpoenaed a group of Trump allies including Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Boris Epshteyn, all of whom were involved in the legal effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. According to committee chairman Bennie Thompson, “The Select Committee is looking into the causes that contributed to the violence on January 6th, including attempts to promote unsupported claims of election fraud and pressure campaigns to overturn the 2020 election results.”
- Last week, the committee asked House minority leader Kevin McCarthy to voluntarily speak with the committee. McCarthy rejected the request, and said, “The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents.” “It is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” McCarthy continued. It remains to be seen whether the committee will issue a subpoena to try to force McCarthy to testify.
- The committee also scored a victory at the Supreme Court this week. The Court rejected Trump’s effort to block the release of documents to the committee from the National Archives. Only Justice Clarence Thomas voted to grant Trump’s application for the Court to review the case.
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