by Linda Ikeji
A New York state supreme court judge has ruled that the Trump Organization must turn over documents related to a Westchester County property involving an engineer, whose tax abatements were being investigated by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.
The New York Attorney General’s office has been investigating President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization since 2019, when Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump’s annual financial statements inflated the values of his assets in order to secure favorable loans and insurance coverage, but deflated the value of other assets in order to reduce real estate taxes.
The Trump Organization previously claimed the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege, and therefore couldn’t be seen by the attorney general of New York, but now those claims have been quashed.
Amy Carlin, an attorney for the Trump Organization, argued Tuesday that the Trump organization had “every expectation that those communications would be confidential,” while the attorney general’s office argued that the documents were not privileged, in part, because the Trump Organization had “waived privilege” when it disclosed certain documents to the IRS to “gain benefit,” said attorney Eric Haren with the attorney general’s office.
Eric Haren, a lawyer under the New York attorney general’s office said that “literally everything other than the final appraisal value” was not disclosed to his office.
Haren argued Tuesday December 15, that refusal to release those documents has “delayed” the attorney general’s ability to investigate but New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has now ruled in favor of the attorney general’s office.
With Trump set to leave office in January, a lot of court cases involving tax, hush money payments, and even sexual assault could come up against him, as he is currently protected by immunity as the sitting president.