The New York attorney general’s office said on Tuesday that its probe into the Trump organization has been expanded into a criminal investigation.
“We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the company is no longer purely civil in nature,” Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for Attorney General Letitia James, said in a statement. “We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”
Since 2019, James has been investigating allegations that former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization had “improperly” manipulated the value of assets on annual financial statements in order to secure loans and obtain tax benefits. The probe began after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress.
James’s investigators are working with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has been conducting a criminal investigation into Trump and his company for two years. James and Vance are both Democrats.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment, but it has in previous statements denied allegations of wrongdoing and said it acted in good faith during the probe.
James previously said that she was investigating several Trump Organization properties including the Seven Spring Estate, 40 Wall Street, the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, and Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. Apart from Eric Trump, she is also attempting to seek testimony from a land-use attorney who had worked with the Trump Organization in connection to the Seven Springs Estate. Eric Trump is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization.
The state attorney general provided some details about the investigation saying that one particular focus, for example, is whether the Trump Organization and its agents had manipulated the value of the Seven Springs Estate.
She went to the court in August 2020 complaining that Eric Trump and other associates were stalling and stonewalling the investigation by refusing to produce the requested documents and refusing to appear to give testimony under the subpoena, according to a motion and memorandum (pdf) filed in the court.
Eric Trump last October sat for a sworn deposition via video with New York state investigators, the state attorney general confirmed. No details as to duration of the interview or the line of questioning were released.
Earlier this year, a New York judge ordered the Trump Organization to give documents to an attorney general it was seeking to withhold.
Trump has previously decried efforts by Vance and other Democrats to investigate him, arguing that they are politically motivated and are part of a “witch hunt.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.