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Explainer-Trump was sued by New York's attorney general. What legal woes does he face?

World Sep 22, 2022 06:56PM ET
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© Reuters. Former U.S. president Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, U.S., September 17, 2022. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse

By Luc Cohen

(Reuters) - Former U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his adult children and his family company were sued on Wednesday for what New York state's attorney general called a decade of fraudulent misstatements of the values of real estate properties to secure favorable loans and tax benefits.

Here is a look at some of the numerous investigations and lawsuits that Trump faces as he considers another run for the presidency in 2024.

NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL CIVIL SUIT

New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office uncovered more than 200 examples of misleading asset valuations by Trump and the Trump Organization between 2011 and 2021. James accused Trump of inflating his net worth by billions of dollars to satisfy loan terms and get better insurance coverage.

James is seeking to permanently bar Trump, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump from running companies in New York state, and to prevent them and his company from buying new properties and taking out new loans in the state for five years. James is also seeking to have the defendants disgorge around $250 million that she described as obtained through fraud.

After James announced the lawsuit, Trump in a social media post called the action "Another Witch Hunt." A lawyer for Trump called the lawsuit's claims "meritless."

James said her probe also uncovered evidence of criminal wrongdoing, which she referred to federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service for investigation.

NEW YORK CRIMINAL PROBE

The Trump Organization is set to go on trial on Oct. 24 on New York state criminal tax fraud charges. Its former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, also named as a defendant in the James lawsuit, has pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against the company.

Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, has also been investigating whether Trump misled lenders and others about asset valuations. Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the probe politically motivated. Bragg, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that the investigation concerning Trump and his company was ongoing.

MISSING GOVERNMENT RECORDS

The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation of Trump for retaining government records, including some marked as classified, after leaving office in January 2021. The FBI seized 11,000 documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in a court-approved Aug. 8 search, including about 100 marked as classified including top secret.

The department opened its investigation after the National Archives, the U.S. agency responsible for preserving government records, tried to get missing government property returned by Trump and received 15 boxes with classified documents mixed in.

Trump has accused the Justice Department of engaging in a partisan witch hunt.

DEFAMATION CASE

E. Jean Carroll, a former Elle magazine writer, sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he denied her allegation that he raped her in the 1990s in a New York City department store. Trump accused her of lying to drum up sales for a book.

In a letter made public on Tuesday, a lawyer for Carroll said she also plans to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress under a new state law in New York giving adult accusers a one-year window to bring civil claims over alleged civil misconduct regardless of when it occurred.

The Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is poised to rule on Trump's bid to get Carroll's lawsuit dismissed.

A lawyer for Trump has argued that he is protected by a federal law that makes government employees immune from defamation claims. Trump was president at the time the lawsuit was filed.

U.S. CAPITOL ATTACK

A House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol is investigating whether he broke the law in actions taken to try to overturn his 2020 election defeat. The rioters sought to block Congress from certifying the election results.

Committee Vice chair Liz Cheney has said the committee could make multiple referrals to the Justice Department seeking criminal charges against Trump, who has accused the panel of conducting a politically motivated sham investigation.

The committee cannot charge Trump with federal crimes. That decision must be made by the Justice Department, led by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

GEORGIA ELECTION TAMPERING PROBE

A special grand jury was selected in May to consider evidence in a Georgia prosecutor's inquiry into Trump's alleged efforts to influence that state's 2020 election results.

The investigation focuses in part on a phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, on Jan. 2, 2021. Trump asked Raffensperger to "find" the votes needed to overturn Trump's election loss.

Legal experts said Trump may have violated at least three Georgia criminal election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with performance of election duties.

Trump could argue he was engaging in constitutionally protected free speech.

Explainer-Trump was sued by New York's attorney general. What legal woes does he face?
 

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Comments (8)
gab nea
gab nea Sep 25, 2022 7:34AM ET
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the Republicans dont think being a criminal president matters? vote them out!
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 23, 2022 2:20PM ET
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I remember when I lied on my loan application and claimed my assets were worth 10 times their real value. When the bank found out, they gave me a loan anyway and took me to lunch.
lakes Tenn
lakes Tenn Sep 23, 2022 2:20PM ET
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good for you. I have never seen a bank take someone's word on value. they have this thing called an appraisal.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 23, 2022 2:20PM ET
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What are you saying? It is permissible to lie on a loan application because the bank will do an appraisal? Good lord right wingers have become disgusting.
lakes Tenn
lakes Tenn Sep 23, 2022 12:39PM ET
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when did banks take the word of a person to make a loan? more political witch hunt. So sad that the Democrats policies are so bad, they have to resort to these tactics
Adrian White
Adrian White Sep 23, 2022 12:39PM ET
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Lakes, it's not "the Democrats" vs. a Republican. It's something called "the law" vs. a criminal. You do agree that bank fraud and tax fraud are crimes, right? Why do you ReTrumplicans always make everything political? And to answer your silly question about "when did banks take the word of a person to make a loan?" Did you really think about that one? Have you ever taken out a loan, or applied for a credit card? Most banks simply check your credit score and a statement from your employer. But did you already forget about the early 2000s when many banks were giving out loans to anybody who could sign their name? Why do you feel the need to protect an obvious criminal? Why is it somehow a "witch hunt" to hold somebody accountable for breaking the law?
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 23, 2022 12:39PM ET
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Another right winger making excuses for law breaking and rejecting the principle of equal justice under the law. Its sad how far some have sunk to defend the conman.
lakes Tenn
lakes Tenn Sep 23, 2022 12:39PM ET
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adrian. I have taken out many loans and 100% of the time the complete an appraisal. if a bank is willing to give a loan and you make your payments, I fail to see the fraud. unlike when the Democrats told banks to give subprime loans and caused the 2008 housing crash.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 23, 2022 12:39PM ET
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Did you make material misrepresentations on your loan applications, or are you just defending a separate set of rules for Thump?
gab nea
gab nea Sep 23, 2022 4:08AM ET
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I dont understand republicans, they see the criminal actions yet they defend him profusely. vote the insane out of offices!
gab nea
gab nea Sep 23, 2022 4:04AM ET
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you ask what legal woes the orange criminal faces? a lot is due! you should ask where does he not face civil and criminal indictments, it would be a shorter list! every criminal gets their due, eventually!
Otb Investor
Otb Investor Sep 23, 2022 1:28AM ET
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When rats try to attack a lion, what woes does the lion face?
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 23, 2022 1:28AM ET
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When the lion turns out to be a song and dance man in an absurd costume, he faces a prison cell.
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 22, 2022 7:52PM ET
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This isn’t about Trump, anyone that tries interfere with the machine will face the gauntlet.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Sep 22, 2022 7:52PM ET
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How was Trump inflating his assets interfering with the machine?
Adrian White
Adrian White Sep 22, 2022 7:52PM ET
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LimitUp, I think what you meant to say was, "... anyone who commits fraud..."
gab nea
gab nea Sep 22, 2022 7:52PM ET
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yep anyone who breaks the law faces the ax! you dont like woes? dont commit crimes! difficult for you?
Tom Saltzman
Tom Saltzman Sep 22, 2022 7:13PM ET
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Since it's a civil suit and not criminal charges I would say not much.
Danilo Manuel
Danilo Manuel Sep 22, 2022 7:13PM ET
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