NY attorney general subpoenas Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr

Letitia James seeks testimony and documents from ex-president and his children as part of probe into Trump Organization.

Donald Trump speaking
Donald Trump has sued New York Attorney General Letitia James to block the investigation [File: Octavio Jones/Reuters]

New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed Donald Trump and his two eldest children, Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, as part of a civil investigation into the former US president’s business practices.

A New York court filing made public on Monday said James recently issued subpoenas seeking testimony and documents from the trio “in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled” by Trump or his company, the Trump Organization.

James has been investigating whether the Trump Organization inflated the values of its properties to obtain loans while reducing them to evade taxes.

The court filing’s release confirms December media reports that James is seeking to question Trump under oath. It also reveals the attorney general’s efforts to get information from the former president’s children.

While serving in the White House, Trump handed control of the company to his two eldest sons, Donald Jr and Eric, while Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner served as presidential advisers.

All four children had been involved in the family business. James’s office questioned Eric Trump, who serves as executive vice president of the Trump Organization, in October 2020.

The former president and his family have denied allegations of fraud.

The Associated Press and the Reuters news agency were not able to reach lawyers for the Trump Organization on Monday.

Last month, Trump filed a federal lawsuit against James to block the probe, accusing the New York attorney general of using her investigatory powers to “target her political adversaries and advance her career”. James responded by calling the lawsuit a “collateral attack” on the investigation.

“To be clear, neither Mr. Trump nor the Trump Organization get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions. Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law, not even someone with the name Trump,” she said in a statement at that time.

James is also involved in a separate criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into the Trump Organization’s business practices.

The Manhattan-based investigation led to tax fraud charges against former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg last July.

Weisselberg has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him and the organisation of using lucrative perks, including luxury cars and apartments, to compensate top executives at the company without paying taxes.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies