Late last night New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed a court filing in her ongoing civil case against the Trump Organization. The filing was for the official purpose of asking the courts to force Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. to testify about the Trump Organization in the civil case. But it’s what James revealed about the evidence in the case that serves as the real story.
In making her argument for why the court should compel their testimony, James announced that she has “significant evidence” that Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. falsified the values of Trump Organization properties for loan, insurance, and tax purposes. To be clear, these would be felonies.
This is just a civil case. But James and the Manhattan District Attorney are also jointly running a related criminal investigation into Donald Trump, which has already led to criminal charges against Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization. So if James has evidence of criminal acts by multiple Trump family members, it’s a near certainty that she’s already provided this evidence to the Manhattan DA, and that Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. will be criminally indicted.
This in addition to the near certainty that James will use the “significant evidence” she has to assert massive civil penalties against the Trump Organization, and to seize its assets to cover those penalties if needed.
Even if the Trumps try to dodge testifying in the civil case by invoking the Fifth Amendment, James can still use their refusal to testify as a basis for concluding that the Trump Organization is culpable. And while pleading the fifth is not considered an indicator of guilt in any criminal charges that end up getting brought, James says she already has the evidence that the Trumps committed these financial crimes anyway. The Trumps simply have no magic wands for getting off the hook at this point.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report