James is also considering suing at least one of Trump’s adult children, the people said. Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., have all been senior executives at the Trump Organisation….reports Ashe O
New York Attorney General Letitia James is considering suing ex-President Donald Trump and at least one of his adult children in the Trump Organisation inquiry after rejecting a settlement offer from his lawyers in one of the most contentious tax evasion cases in Manhattan.
Trump’s family business could face stiff financial and operational penalties if a trial ensues, the New York Times said today.
The New York Attorney General’s office rebuffed an offer from Trump’s lawyers to settle a contentious civil investigation into the former President and his family real estate business, paving the way for a lawsuit that would accuse Trump of fraud, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
James is also considering suing at least one of Trump’s adult children, the people said. Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., have all been senior executives at the Trump Organisation.
The likelihood of a lawsuit emerged after James’s office rejected at least one settlement offer from Trump’s lawyers, the people said. While the Trump Organisation for months has made overtures to the Attorney General’s office – and the two sides could still reach a deal – there is no indication that a settlement will materialise anytime soon, the Times said.
James, a Democrat who is running for re-election in November, is focused on whether Trump fraudulently inflated the value of his assets and has mounted a three and a half year inquiry that has cemented her as one of the former President’s chief antagonists.
Trump has denied all wrongdoing and derided the investigation as a politically motivated “Witch Hunt”. He has fired back at her, filing an unsuccessful lawsuit to block her inquiry and calling James, who is Black, a racist.
A lawsuit from James would supercharge their drawn-out battle, offering her an opportunity to deliver a significant blow to the former President and his business, which she vowed before taking office to “vigorously investigate”. If the case goes to trial and Trump loses, a judge could impose financial penalties and restrict the former President’s business operations in New York – all potentially in the midst of a 2024 presidential campaign that he is expected to launch before the mid-terms.
Trump may be unfazed by any lawsuit as he has a long track record of leveraging law enforcement scrutiny to energise his base while portraying himself as a political martyr.
And James is not assured victory if the lawsuit proceeds to trial; if it does, Trump might deploy his favored legal tactics – delay and litigate every last detail of a case – to stall in the coming months or years, the Times said.
Besides James, the FBI launched investigations into Trump, whose final weeks in office are under scrutiny in at least three separate criminal investigations. The FBI last month searched his home and club in Florida as part of a federal investigation into his removal of sensitive material from the White House, federal authorities recently seized the phones of two of his close advisers and sent subpoenas to dozens of his aides in an inquiry into Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss; and a Georgia district attorney has cast a sprawling net in an investigation into potential election interference by the former president and his allies, the Times said .
Trump has denied all wrongdoing, and it is unclear whether any of these investigations will result in charges against the former President. His company, however, is already under indictment in an unrelated case.
The Trump Organisation is set to go on trial next month for criminal tax charges in Manhattan, a case that could expose the company to steep financial penalties if it is convicted. And although Trump was not accused of wrongdoing in that case, in which the Attorney General’s office is also participating, his longtime chief financial officer recently pleaded guilty to participating in the tax scheme and agreed to testify at the company’s trial, giving prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office the upper hand.
“He needs to be held accountable,” James has said of Trump.
Trump-picked judge named special master in raid case
US district judge Aileen Cannon has rejected the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to revive the criminal probe against Donald Trump in the classified documents case and instead appointed a judge picked by the former President as special master to review the documents seized by the FBI on August 8 from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
Raymond Dearie, a Brooklyn-based federal judge, was selected on Thursday to serve as an independent arbiter to review the materials seized during the surprise search.
His name was put forward as a possible candidate for the special master’s role by Trump, CNN reported.
The special master will be a Senior Judge who had sued in court to obtain the review.
The DOJ also endorsed Dearie’s appointment.
Trump claims he declassified Mar-a-Lago docs, but his lawyers avoid making that assertion, CNN said.
Judge Cannon’s rejection of the DOJ’s bid to revive its criminal investigation into the classified has set the stage for the Department’s dispute with Trump over the search to move quickly to an appeals court and potentially the Supreme Court.
Cannon gave the special master a deadline of November 30 to complete his review.
The schedule puts the review ending after the mid-term congressional elections — essentially guaranteeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation will move slowly for the next two months, unless a higher court steps in, CNN said.
This means Trump gets a reprieve, unless blocked by a higher court, and enough time to campaign for his candidates for the midterms, a sort of victory for him.
Trump backed candidates initially won the primaries but, after President Joe Biden announced the inflation reduction act and signed an Executive Order on abortion rights, the former President’s candidates started losing the primaries in important states.
Judge Dearie, a Ronald Reagan appointee and picked by Trump now takes centre stage.
He sits on the district court for the Eastern District of Brooklyn, where he has taken senior status — meaning his workload has been lightened significantly as he nears the end of his time on the federal bench.
Dearie was appointed as a judge in 1986 and was for a time the chief judge of the Brooklyn-based district court. He also served a seven-year term, concluding in 2019, on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), CNN said.
In his role as a FISC judge, Dearie was one of the judges who approved one of the DOJ’s requests to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, as part of the federal inquiry into Russia 2016 election interference.