Donald Trump lawsuit: How AOC inadvertently sparked the New York attorney general’s Trump lawsuit
On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her $250 million civil lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, specifically citing testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in 2019 in which he revealed that the former president had fraudulently inflated the value of his assets.
“I would like to remind everyone that this investigation only began after former lawyer Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, testified before Congress had shed light on this misconduct,” he said.
The question that triggered Mr. Cohen’s response came in 2019 from Ms. James’ fellow New Yorker, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In 2019, Mr. Cohen testified against his ex before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. At the time, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who had defeated former House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley in a primary in New York’s 14th District the previous year, questioned whether Mr. Trump had ever provided inflated assets to an insurance company.
“Yes,” Mr. Cohen replied. When Ms. Ocasio-Cortez asked who knew Mr. Trump did it, she said “Allen Weiselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari.”
The lawsuit also names Mr. Lieberman, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer. Specifically, it says that Mr. Weiselberg helped Mr. Trump make fraudulent statements of financial status regarding his properties.
“Mr. Trump conveyed through Mr. Weiselberg that he intended to increase his net worth in his statements each year, and the statements were a vehicle through which his net worth was fraudulently inflated by billions of dollars over the years,” Ms. James’ office said. In a statement.
“And where does the committee get more information on this, do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns,” he said.
“Yes, and you’ll find it at Trump Org,” Mr. Cohen said.
The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Trump fraudulently inflated his net worth by millions of dollars so that banks could lend him and his businesses money on more favorable terms that would not otherwise have been available.