Is it possible? Is Donald Trump finally going to get his comeuppance? If Letitia James has her way, the answer is “yes.” According to the New York Times (“NYT”), James is determined to get to the bottom of the Trump Organization’s business dealings. Because she moved to question Trump, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka, Trump engaged in his usual blocking tactic by suing Ms. James. Again, if you have nothing to hide, why do you try so hard to hide that nothing? Trump is infamous for filing lawsuits to avoid the inevitable, but this is merely a stalling tactic. Trump has gotten away with so much for so long, the law of averages says that at some point, he is going to run out of second chances. AG James wants to be the one who makes that happen.
Her most recent filing accuses the company of engaging in “fraudulent or misleading” practices, which sounds typical for this group. In a 115-page filing, AG James addresses the Trump Organization’s purposeful inflation of the company’s value on financial statements, tax documents, and “other materials” to get loans, insurance, and tax benefits, to which the company had no rights if the information was fraudulent. While it is unusual for a district attorney to “show her hand,” if you will, in a filing, she has done so because of the claims that her acts are politically motivated, but based on the evidence revealed, James is not trying to settle some political score. AG James shows that Donald Trump is the eventual beneficiary of any gains derived by the company, and there is no way any of this occurred without Trump’s knowledge and/or involvement. According to NYT, his lying and cheating are not only limited to the company but to his “Trump brand.”
The companies targeted by James include Trump’s golf clubs in Westchester County, NY, Scotland, and his Manhattan properties, Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street. James goes into detail about the falsehoods, including $150,000 initiation fees for memberships in his golf clubs that were never collected, mansions that were never built, and 20,000 square feet in the Trump Tower triplex that does not even exist. Wow. The levels to which these people have gone are unbelievable, all in the name of money that Trump cannot seem to hold onto anyway. If everything James outlines in her recent filing are true, these behaviors amount to fraud, and fraud is against the law. Even though James’ investigation is civil, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is running a simultaneous criminal investigation, and his investigation involves many of the same allegations and circumstances.
Trump and his people, of course, claim the investigation all boils down to Letitia James’ “vendetta” against him and is driven by political motivation. Even if it is, and there is no proof of that, what the Trump Organization has done is unlawful, and they should be brought to justice. No one is above the law, including Donald Trump. If James is successful in proving all of this, we may finally see Trump get what he deserves.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years