Trump and his sons Donald jr and Ivanka on the stand

from Giuseppe Sarcina, Washington correspondent

The appeal of the lawyers rejected: the former American president and his two sons will have to testify at the trial for fraud

Donald Trump and the children Donald jr and Ivanka will have to answer questions from New York State Attorney Letitia James. Yesterday Arthur Engoron, a judge of the New York Supreme Court, rejected the appeal of the Trumpian lawyers, who had rejected James, because she was politically biased towards the former president. an important step in the investigation conducted on the accounts of the Trump Organization. James formalized the accusation on January 18: the Trump family holding company would have inflated the value of six real estate properties in a fraudulent and misleading way. Objective: to obtain bank loans, insurance coverage, tax benefits more easily. Last December, the prosecutor had summoned the top management of the company, namely Donald Trump, Donald jr and Ivanka, to imperio (subpoena). But in response she had received a copy of two appeals filed by Trumpian lawyers. One still pending in Syracuse, New York State courthouse. The other was rejected yesterday.

Judge Engoron did not accept the attorneys’ arguments: Attorney James is not acting for political reasons and is not using civil law investigations to fuel the other criminal investigation opened, in parallel, by the New York District Attorney, Alvin Bragg. Yesterday’s ruling, however, underlines that Trump will benefit from extensive guarantees: when called to testify, they will have the right to refuse to answer any questions they believe could lead to their indictment. Basically likely that The Donald and his two sons won’t say a word to the magistrate. In any case, the second blow for the clan within a few days.

On Tuesday, January 15, it became known that consultancy Mazars had distanced itself from tax returns filed on behalf of the Trump Organization, from 2011 to 2020. Now Letitia James will be able to follow the lead opened by Allen Weisselberg’s interrogation , for 46 years the accountant of the Trump family. The investigations concern the declared price for assets such as the Aberdeenshire golf club in Scotland. Or the penthouse in Trump Tower, in Manhattan, for years the home of the former builder. It is worth $ 373 million for Trumpian tax advisers; according to James’ experts, no more than 200.

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