Manhattan tax case against Trump Org politically motivated: Donald Trump Jr
Incidentally, legal troubles continue to plague Trump and his family. The Trump Organization, including Trump and his three children, are facing a $250 million civil lawsuit filed by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, that alleges widespread fraud by the company. In September 2022, James filed the suit against Trump, the Trump Organization, senior management, and involved entities for engaging in years of financial fraud to obtain a host of economic benefits. The lawsuit alleges that Trump, with the help of his children — Trump Jr, Ivanka, and Eric — and other senior executives, falsely inflated Trump’s net worth by billions to: a) influence banks to lend money on more favourable terms, b) to meet existing loan covenants, c) to induce insurers to provide insurance coverage for higher limits and at lower premiums, and d) to gain tax benefits. A statement on the AG’s website mentions that from 2011 to 2021, Trump and his real estate company, intentionally, created more than 200 false and misleading valuations of assets to defraud financial institutions. Trump owes $146 million against three of Trump Organization’s properties in New York City — 40 Wall Street, Trump Plaza and the Trump International Hotel & Tower. “That’s the intention for the politically motivated side to try to hurt the business…to hurt your ability to do this [raise money from lenders],” Trump Jr told Fortune India.
In October, claiming that Trump was engaging in “fraudulent practices” and was relocating business operations to avoid her suit, James urged the court to freeze Trump’s assets and restrain the company from any real estate-related activity. Trials in the $250 million lawsuit are set to begin from October 2023, even as the countdown to the presidential election gets underway. In response to the mounting legal wrangles, Trump Jr said, “They’ll continue to do it because they can. The state of New York is entirely controlled by Democrats, and they don’t want Trump. It’s amazing that that can even happen in New York, a city where Trump literally changed the skyline. He was given awards. But now you’re a Republican so it’s different. But anyone with a little bit of objectivity can see what is going on,” said Trump Jr. Interestingly, Trump had described his own hometown, New York as a lawless “ghost town.” The outburst was not surprising given that 73% of New Yorkers had voted against Trump in the 2020 elections. In fact, Manhattan, where Trump lived before his presidency, voted overwhelmingly in favour of Joe Biden, the current US president.
Trump, in November, sued James over what he claimed was a “relentless, pernicious, public, and unapologetic crusade” against him. Trump mentioned that no banks had missed payments from his company and that the suit would not have been filed if he were not “leading in the polls by substantial margins against both Democrats and Republicans.” However, according to a blog by Brookings Institution, the Washington DC-based non-profit public policy organization, Trump’s conduct since announcing his candidature for the 2024 Republican nomination has weakened his credibility within his party. In fact, a poll conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in mid-November revealed that only 35% of Republicans felt Trump would be their strongest candidate, while a majority (54%) felt it would not be Trump.