New York’s Attorney-General subpoenas Donald Trump and two of his children

New York's Attorney-General Letitia James has subpoenaed former president Donald Trump and his two eldest children, demanding their testimony in connection with an ongoing civil investigation into the family's business practices.

Key points:

  • It the first public disclosure that investigators are also seeking information from Donald Trump's children
  • The Trumps are expected to file court papers seeking to quash the subpoenas
  • Donald Trump sued New York's Attorney-General last month, seeking to end the investigation

The subpoenas for Mr Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr and his daughter Ivanka Trump stem from an investigation "into the valuation of properties owned or controlled" by Mr Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, according to a court filing made public on Monday.

Messages seeking comment were left with lawyers for the Trumps and Ms James' office.

The attorney-general's attempt to get testimony from the former president was reported in December, but the court filing on Monday was the first public disclosure that investigators were also seeking information from Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

The Trumps are expected to file court papers seeking to quash the subpoenas, setting up a legal fight similar to one that played out last year after Ms James' office subpoenaed another Trump son.

Mr Trump sued Ms James last month, seeking to end the investigation after she requested that he sit for a January 7 deposition.

The Trumps are expected to file court papers seeking to quash the subpoenas.(Reuters: Leah Millis)

Filed in the Federal Court, Mr Trump's lawsuit alleges that the probe has violated his constitutional rights in a "thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates".

Monday's court filing was the attorney-general office's first public acknowledgement that it has previously subpoenaed Mr Trump's testimony.

Ms James, a Democrat, has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organization misled banks or tax officials about the value of assets — inflating them to gain favourable loan terms or minimising them to reap tax savings.

Her investigators last year interviewed one of Mr Trump's sons, Trump Organization executive Eric Trump, as part of the probe.

Ms James's office went to court to enforce a subpoena on the younger Trump and a judge forced him to testify after his lawyers abruptly cancelled a previous, scheduled deposition.

Although the civil investigation is separate from a criminal investigation being run by the Manhattan District Attorney's office, Ms James' office has been involved in both.

Trump Organization's business practices under the microscope Letitia James has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organization misled banks or tax officials.(AP: Evan Vucci)

Earlier this year, former district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr gained access to the longtime real estate mogul's tax records after a multi-year fight that twice went to the US Supreme Court.

Before he left office at the end of last year, Mr Vance convened a new grand jury to hear evidence as he weighed whether to seek more indictments in the investigation, which resulted in tax fraud charges in July against the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Mr Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to charges that alleged he and the company evaded taxes on lucrative fringe benefits paid to executives.

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Both investigations are at least partly related to allegations made in news reports — and by Mr Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen — that Mr Trump had a history of misrepresenting the value of assets.

Ms James's office issued subpoenas to local governments as part of the civil probe for records pertaining to Mr Trump's estate north of Manhattan, Seven Springs, and a tax benefit that Mr Trump received for placing land into a conservation trust.

Mr Vance later issued subpoenas seeking many of the same records.

Ms James's office has also been looking at similar issues relating to a Trump office building in New York City, a hotel in Chicago and a golf course near Los Angeles.

Her office also won a series of court rulings forcing Mr Trump's company and a law firm it hired to turn over troves of records.



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