The most valued possessions of former president Donald Trump, such as Trump Tower in Manhattan and his golf properties, are “at stake,” according to a former associate attorney general for New York state.
On Wednesday, during a one-hour deposition, Trump allegedly exercised his Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent more than 400 times. The investigation focuses on the valuation of Trump’s assets and whether the former president’s company, the Trump Organization, misrepresented the stated valuations of some of its real estate assets for financial gain, including preferential treatment when it comes to loans and insurance as well as tax advantages.
Tristan Snell, the managing partner of mainstreet.law and a former assistant attorney general for New York state, said that the probe is a “big deal” and assessed that Trump pleading the Fifth made James’ case “even stronger.” Notably, Snell was a key player in the successful civil lawsuit against the since-closed Trump University that ended with a $25 million settlement.
Snell told Business Insider, “This cuts directly to the crown jewel of his real estate holdings.”
James, a Democrat, has hinted that she would use New York’s infamous “corporate death sentence” to dissolve Trump’s firms. In the past, the Trump Foundation was shut down after being charged in 2019.
Everything is at stake because 40 Wall Street, one of Trump’s most cherished assets and perhaps one of the most valuable, is in question, as is Trump Tower (in Manhattan). It’s a major event since all of his golf courses are involved.
Snell said on Twitter that Trump’s Fifth Amendment argument did not support him.
BREAKING: Trump pleads Fifth, refuses to answer NY AG questions about Trump Organization’s alleged tax and financial fraud.
This is a civil case — so the court can draw an inference of liability.
This is exactly what the AG was hoping to achieve. The case is now even stronger.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) August 10, 2022
In another article, Snell predicted that the NY AG will file a case against the Trumps for tax and financial fraud “within the next 3-6 months, maybe much sooner—and probably before the holidays” after Trump took the Fifth today.
After Trump took the Fifth today, I would bet that the NY AG will officially commence its lawsuit against the Trumps for tax and financial fraud within the next 3-6 months, maybe much sooner — and likely before the holidays.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) August 11, 2022
Trump has vehemently refuted all accusations. He claims that a larger “witch hunt” against him and his associates is behind the New York investigation. He makes the case that the probe has political undertones.
“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump said in a Wednesday statement.
“When your family, your company and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”