New York Attorney General Investigating Trump Projects, Report Says
(Bloomberg) -- The New York attorney general’s office issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank AG and Investors Bank for records relating to the financing of Trump Organization projects and an unsuccessful effort to buy the Buffalo Bills football team, the New York Times reported.
The inquiry by the office of Attorney General Letitia James is a civil investigation, not a criminal one, although its focus and scope were unclear, the paper said, citing a person briefed on the subpoenas. The office wasn’t immediately available for comment after normal business hours.
The request to Deutsche Bank sought loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the Trump National Doral outside Miami, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the New York Times reported the person as saying.
The new line of inquiry was prompted by congressional testimony last month by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, the paper said. The Trump Organization didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A Hong Kong-based representative for Deutsche Bank was unable to provide an immediate comment Tuesday.
Cohen told a congressional committee that Trump gave false financial statements to Deutsche Bank to support his failed attempt to buy the Bills, which were sold to another bidder. Cohen also said Trump inflated his assets to show how wealthy he was and deflated them to help lower his real estate taxes, particularly on golf courses.
Deutsche Bank was Trump’s go-to lender for decades, even as other commercial banks stopped doing business with him because of multiple bankruptcies. Although the German lender’s investment bank had severed ties with Trump during the financial crisis after he defaulted on a loan and then sued the bank, its wealth management unit continued to extend him credit.
Cohen has pleaded guilty to nine felonies stemming from a federal probe into campaign violations and other crimes.
What once was a cozy relationship between two tough-talking outer-borough New Yorkers has devolved into a public fight before millions. Cohen, who made himself valuable to Trump by burying his potentially embarrassing deeds, is now trying to revive them in an effort to reduce his time behind bars.
Trump, threatened by a now-disloyal former employee, has sought to denigrate Cohen to his almost 59 million Twitter followers by raising questions about his family members and accusing him of rampant lying.
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