NY AG Letitia James sues Donald Trump, family; accuses them of fraud

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday accused former President Donald Trump of massive fraud in a civil lawsuit following a three year inquiry into the finances of the family business.

James said Trump “falsely inflated his wealth by billions of dollars” to enrich himself and his family.

“There aren’t two sets of laws for people in this nation,” James said. “Former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans.”

James said she has referred some of the allegations to federal authorities, including the Manhattan U.S Attorney’s Office and the IRS.

The extraordinary lawsuit, which also names children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, seeks $250 million in penalties; a permanent ban on the Trumps from running businesses in New York; while attempting to block Trump and the Trump Organization from purchasing commercial real estate in New York for five years. 

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally Aug. 5, 2022, in Waukesha, Wis.

James described an “astounding” pattern of fraud that allegedly represented a “violation of the law.”

Last month, Trump repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment during a deposition as part of James’ civil fraud investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances.

Trump’s attempt to shield himself from possible criminal jeopardy recalled his remarks during a 2016 campaign stop when he compared those who have invoked their constitutional right against self-incrimination to mobsters: “The mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

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