New York judge sets tax fraud trial date for Trump

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Manhattan-based Judge Arthur Engoron set an October 2, 2023, trial date in New York for Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit…reports Asian Lite News

The New York attorney general’s fraud lawsuit against former US President Donald Trump will head to trial in October 2023, media reported.

The lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James has accused Trump, three of his adult children and the Trump Organisation of fraudulently overvaluing the real estate company’s assets and Trump’s net worth.

Manhattan-based Judge Arthur Engoron set an October 2, 2023, trial date in New York for Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit was filed in September, following a three-year investigation into whether he and his company manipulated property values to obtain investments and tax and loan benefits.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba suggested at Tuesday’s hearing that the former president may testify in the October trial, CNN reported.

However, Habba later walked back the statement in an email to Insider, saying “I do not know at this point” whether Trump will testify, The Hill reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn before departing from the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 22, 2018.(Xinhua/Ting Shen/IANS)

Democrats to see Trump’s tax returns

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the imminent handover of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee after a three-year legal fight.

The court’s move is a major loss for Trump, who has sought to shield the release of his tax returns for years and is currently under multiple investigations, reported CNN.

Trump’s legal team has continuously sought to keep his returns secret and turned to the Supreme Court – composed of three of his nominees – after he lost at the lower court level.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who supervises the lower court that issued the order in the Trump case, had placed a temporary hold on the subpoena on November 1, presumably to give the justices more time to consider the issue. There were no noted dissents, reported CNN.

The court, without comment, rejected Trump’s plea for an order that would have prevented the Treasury Department from giving six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, first sought the tax returns from the IRS in 2019, and the agency, under the Trump administration, initially resisted turning them over, reported CNN.

The case moved slowly until 2021, when, under the Biden administration, the Justice Department changed its legal posture and concluded the IRS was obligated to comply with the committee’s request.

A Trump-appointed judge ruled in the House’s favour late last year and the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reverse that ruling, most recently with the full appeals court declining to take up the case.

The court held that the request for the documents served a legitimate legislative purpose to look at tax laws as they apply to a sitting president and rejected Trump’s argument that the stated purpose was a mere pretext to hide a political calculation, reported CNN.

“We knew the strength of our case, we stayed the course, followed the advice of counsel, and finally, our case has been affirmed by the highest court in the land,” Neal said in a statement following the ruling. “Since the Magna Carta, the principle of oversight has been upheld, and today is no different. This rises above politics, and the committee will now conduct the oversight that we’ve sought for the last three and a half years.”

It was not immediately clear when the committee will receive the documents.

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