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What does the New York civil lawsuit against Trump mean?


Donald Trump, his three eldest children and his company have been sued in New York. What are the demands, what are the consequences for the Trump family and their company and how are the defendants reacting?

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Have all been sued in New York: Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and ex-US President Donald Trump

Photo: Shawn Thew/ dpa

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed civil charges against former US President Donald Trump and his three eldest children, Donald Trump Junior, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization.

It's a billion dollar scam.

Other investigations of a criminal nature are already under way in the United States against Trump.

What is the New York civil lawsuit about?

James and her team of prosecutors spent several years investigating what resulted in a 221-page indictment.

In it, the state of New York accuses Trump, his three children and his company of large-scale fraud.

James said Trump "falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to dishonestly enrich himself."

He "cheated the system and thus cheated us all".

It is about annual information on the financial situation from 2011 to 2021. According to James' allegations, the Trump family is said to have increased or decreased their finances depending on their needs, in order to get loans more easily or to pay less taxes.

Among other things, the Deutsche Bank is said to have granted such loans, said James.

The attorney general cites the testimony of 65 witnesses as evidence and points out that her investigators "uncovered more than 200 examples of false and misleading asset valuations" that Trump is said to have used.

There was also initial talk of canceling Trump's business certificates and winding up the Trump Organization, a move known as New York's "corporate death penalty."

However, James later distanced himself from this drastic step.

What is Trump threatening?

Since this is a civil lawsuit, there is no risk of imprisonment, but large fines and personal business bans for Trump and his children.

However, the maximum requirements can be undercut, or the parties can agree on a settlement.

Specifically, the state of New York is seeking the following in the lawsuit:

  • A permanent ban for Trump and his children from sitting on a company board

  • A five-year ban on Trump buying commercial real estate in New York

  • $250 million in compensation for the fraud

  • Appoint an auditor to oversee the Trump Organization's financial operations for at least 10 years

  • Prohibit Trump and the Trump Organization from soliciting loans from any financial institution based in New York

What other proceedings are currently underway against Trump?

Three criminal investigations are currently underway in connection with crimes in which Trump may have been involved.

However, only one of these proceedings involves the former US President himself.

  • The US Department of Justice is investigating directly against Trump for the theft of classified information, some of which is subject to the highest level of secrecy.

    This was preceded by a raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, during which several boxes of documents were confiscated.

    A Trump-appointed judge in Florida granted his request for a neutral expert to review the seized documents.

  • In the state of Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating attempted voter fraud.

    After the 2020 US election, the Trump team tried to appoint false voters.

    They were supposed to untruthfully tell the US Congress that they had voted for Trump and not for US President Joe Biden.

    So far, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham have been summoned in this investigation, but not Trump himself.

  • The Trump Organization is under criminal investigation in New York for financial fraud, but not Trump himself. Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has since pleaded guilty to personally evading $1.7 million in taxes.

    Weisselberg's deal with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office stipulates that he will testify on demand against the Trump Organization but not against Trump himself.

  • In relation to the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Trump has not yet been investigated.

    However, the US Congressional Committee of Inquiry has already unearthed numerous indications that could incriminate Trump should US Attorney General Merrick Garland decide to indict Trump.

What does Trump say?

In response to the lawsuit, Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social that it was "another witch hunt by a racist Attorney General, Letitia James".

Georgia prosecutor Willis, who, like James, is African American, has repeatedly described Trump as “racist” without evidence.

Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, who are also accused, reacted on Twitter in a similar way to their father and accused James, a Democrat, of political motives.

Trump's daughter Ivanka has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-09-21

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