On Wednesday, when New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her $250 million civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, she specifically cited testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in 2019 revealing that the former president inflated fraudulently the value of its assets.
“I will remind everyone that this investigation only began after Michael Cohen, the former attorney, his former attorney, testified before Congress to shed light on this misconduct,” he said.
The question that prompted Cohen’s response came in 2019 from James’ fellow New Yorker, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In 2019, Cohen testified against his former before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. At the time, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who the previous year had beaten former House Democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley in a primary in New York’s 14th District, asked if Trump ever provided inflated assets. to an insurance company.
“Yes,” Cohen said in response. When Ms. Ocasio-Cortez asked who else knew that Mr. Trump did this, she said “Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman, and Matthew Calamari.”
The suit also named Mr. Lieberman, a former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. Specifically, he said Weisselberg helped Trump make fraudulent statements about the financial condition of his estate.
“Mr. Trump made it known through Mr. Weisselberg that he wanted his net worth in his statements to increase each year, and the statements were the vehicle by which his net worth was fraudulently inflated by billions of dollars year after year. ”, said the office of Ms. James. in a sentence.
“And where would the committee find more information on this? Do you think we need to review your financial statements and your tax returns?” he said.
“Yes, and I would find it at the Trump Org,” Cohen said.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump fraudulently inflated his net worth by millions of dollars so that banks could lend him and his businesses money on more favorable terms that would not otherwise be available.
Ms. James’s announcement on Wednesday morning was just the first piece of bad news for Trump and his allies to emerge over the course of the day.
Later on Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported that conservative activist Virginia “Ginny” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had agreed to voluntarily appear for a House select committee interview on January 6th.
Ms. Thomas has come under scrutiny for her actions in the period between November 7, 2020 (the day most media outlets announced the 2020 election for Joe Biden) and January 6, 2021. , when a riotous mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in hopes of preventing Mr. Biden’s victory from being certified. She reportedly contacted state lawmakers in two states won by Biden, Arizona and Wisconsin, to pressure them to step in and overturn Trump’s defeat.
According to NBC News, Thomas was also in contact with John Eastman, the former law professor and adviser to Trump who formulated a plan for Congress to block Biden’s victory with the help of fraudulent electoral college certificates.
The former president was also dealt another blow Wednesday night when a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an order by a Florida federal judge that effectively barred the Justice Department from using classified documents found in his home. of Palm Beach to promote a criminal investigation. research on him and his associates.
Circuit Judges Robin Rosenbaum, Britt Grant and Andrew Brasher said they agreed with the government’s argument that District Judge Aileen Cannon “probably erred in exercising … jurisdiction to bar the use of classified records by of the United States in its criminal investigation and require the United States States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master for review.”
Trump has repeatedly described both the New York state lawsuit and the DOJ investigation as examples of partisan witch hunts intended to harm him politically.
Speaking on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s self-titled show on Wednesday, the former president said he turned down an offer to settle the three-year investigation into whether his companies committed large amounts of fraud because paying “even a small amount” would be like admitting liability. .
“I met with them. I actually thought they wanted to settle, but I didn’t want to settle because how can you, even if I paid a very small amount, you’re admitting fault, she said.
Source : www.independent.co.uk