NY AG asks judge to force Trump evaluators to comply with subpoenas

  • New York AG Letitia James on Friday asked a judge to compel Cushman & Wakefield to turn over documents.
  • The company managed appraisals for 40 Wall Street, Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles and the Seven Springs Estate.
  • James accused the company of illegally withholding documents related to financial transactions involving the properties.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking more Trump documents – this time from the former president’s real estate appraisers.

On Thursday, James had asked a Manhattan judge to fine Donald Trump $10,000 a day for what she calls his failure to comply with his legal subpoena for documents.

On Friday, she asked the same judge to force Chicago-based credit rating agency Cushman & Wakefield to turn over the documents she also accused them of illegally withholding.

“Cushman & Wakefield’s work for the Trump Organization is important to our ongoing investigation into Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial practices,” she said in a statement late Friday.

The company conducted appraisals on three properties owned by Trump that James’ office is investigating, according to court documents that detail James’ request to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron to compel them to comply.

One is Seven Springs, a 212-acre property in Westchester County, upstate New York.

Court documents showed Trump received a $21.1 million deduction from his 2015 taxes by donating a 158-acre easement on the property to a conservation trust, The Washington Post reported in 2020. James’s office is investigating whether Cushman & Wakefield inflated the value of the easement.

A second property is the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, where the former president received another write-off by donating an oceanfront easement that had been appraised by Cushman & Wakefield. James accused Trump of pocketing a federal tax benefit totaling more than $5 million by using “misleading” valuations of the easement, which she says do not fully account for the property being prone to landslides. ground.

The third property is 40 Wall Street, a 70-story skyscraper. The New York AG is investigating whether Cushman & Wakefield inflated the value of the property in a 2015 mortgage refinance on the building and in other business deals.

James’ subpoena also requires the company to provide information about the company’s broader business relationship with the Trump Organization.

A previous order from Engoron required the valuation firm to hand over all the documents requested by James by October 2020.

A representative for Cushman & Wakefield could not immediately be reached for comment. Lawyers for the company previously said the subpoenas were too broad and that it had already handed over all relevant documents.

Engoron has yet to rule on James’ request for a $10,000-a-day fine. Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. are appealing the judge’s February order ordering them to comply with James’ request for their depositions.

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