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New York judge orders Trump Organization to turn over files in fraud investigation

New York judge orders Trump Organization to turn over files in fraud investigation

1.02.2021 | Sarah Kimball Stephenson | U. Nevada Las Vegas School of Law, US JANUARY 31, 2021 03:12:42 PM | 642

New York judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and associates on Friday to turn over documents concerning a Trump family estate to investigators.

The Trump Organization is under investigation for using inaccurate evaluations of assets to get loans and tax breaks. New York Attorney General Letitia James began this inquiry into the Trump Organization’s financial records in March 2019 after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, testified in a congressional hearing that Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”

Morgan Lewis, a Trump Organization lawyer, refused to produce documents requested in a December order, claiming they were protected by attorney-client privilege. Judge Engoron conducted a private, in-camera review of the allegedly privileged documents and determined that “many of the communications Morgan Lewis marked as privileged were communications addressing business tasks and decisions, not exchanges soliciting or rendering legal advice.”

This ruling is the most recent development in the legal battles Trump is facing as a private citizen. He is also under criminal investigation by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance for insurance or tax fraud. As his second Senate impeachment trial looms in the near future and a proposed investigation into Trump’s attempt to overturn Georgia’s election results, his legal challenges as a public figure are not yet settled.

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