Donald Trump said in court Monday that he doesn’t know anything about the Trump Organization’s finances.
In a Tuesday statement, he said the company “has among the best real estate and other assets” in the world.
The New York attorney general’s office pointed out the discrepancy ahead of a hearing Thursday.
Former President Donald Trump said in a court filing Monday that he “denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth” about his company’s finances.
A day later, he issued a blistering 1,100-word statement in response to his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA dropping the Trump Organization as a client and claiming it could no longer stand by a decade’s worth of tax documents. Trump waxed lyrical about his company’s “fantastic assets” and said prosecutors should consider giving Hillary Clinton the death penalty instead of investigating the Trump Organization’s finances.
“My company has among the best real estate and other assets anywhere in the world, has significant amounts of cash, and has relatively very little debt, which is totally current,” Trump said in the statement Tuesday.
The discrepancy was pointed out in a court filing Wednesday from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Her office is set to face off against Trump in court Thursday and ask a judge to enforce a subpoena that would force him to sit for a deposition.
“It is not unusual for parties to a legal proceeding to disagree about the facts,” wrote Austin Thompson, a lawyer for James’s office. “But it is truly rare for a party to publicly disagree with statements submitted by his own attorneys in a signed pleading — let alone one day after the pleading was filed. That is what Mr. Trump has done here.”
Since 2019, James has been overseeing an investigation into whether the Trump Organization broke financial laws by keeping two sets of books for property valuations in order to receive generous tax, loan, and insurance rates. James’s office is working alongside the Manhattan district attorney’s office on a parallel criminal investigation into the Trump Organization.
In order to try to enforce the subpoena, James filed more than 100 pages of documents last month revealing new depths of the Trump Organization’s finances. They outlined numerous “fraudulent or misleading” business practices.
On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, both of whom James is also seeking to depose, filed arguments to try to block a subpoena as well. They similarly argued they did not have “knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth” regarding the attorney general’s claims about the company’s finances.
Thompson said the claims were nonsense.
“It is not plausible that neither Mr. Trump, nor Donald Trump, Jr., has sufficient knowledge to form a belief as to Mr. Trump’s relationship with the Trump Organization, the key entities that hold its assets, or the Revocable Trust,” he wrote. “Such denials of information can and should be treated as admissions.”
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