AG James keeps her promise on Trump

Herb Boyd | 3/12/2019, 12:06 p.m.
New York's attorney general has opened a civil investigation into President Donald Trump's business dealings, taking action after his former ...
Letitia James Contributed

Last month’s congressional testimony by Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, that his boss inflated the worth of his assets, and his proof of these claims with evidence of statements sent to Deutsche Bank was all New York State Attorney General Letitia James needed to keep her promise to look into Trump’s financial records.

Monday, March 11, in her first major action since assuming the office, James issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank looking into a number of Trump Organization projects as well as his attempt to purchase the NFL’s Buffalo Bills five years ago, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Her probe into Trump’s financial empire seeks loan applications, lines of credit, mortgages, and several other financial transactions in connection to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, the Trump National Doral in South Florida and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.

Records from the New Jersey-based Investors Bank were requested in connection to Trump Park Avenue.

Back in January it was reported that Trump had sought a loan from Deutsche Bank and was turned down, though his spokesperson at that time said no such request was made. Perhaps this is one of the things James is trying to get a handle on, which, if true, would show that he was actively engaged in business deals during his presidential campaign. And given Cohen’s testimony, the House will probably conduct its own investigation.

Over the years, as is commonly known, Deutsche Bank is the only financial institution to do business with Trump. Nothing came of the New York banking regulators examination of the bank last year.

James’ probe, given its expanse, may uncover damaging information that may not lead to impeachment but could bring Trump to court should he fail in his re-election bid.

Moreover, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) struck a meaningful chord when she asked Cohen during his testimony if Trump had ever provided “inflated assets to an insurance company.” Cohen said yes, and added that his former client had also committed tax fraud allegedly by Trump Organization officials Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari.

All of this should be grist to James’ mill.