What to Know
- The Trumps and the New York Attorney General’s Office have come to an agreement on the impending depositions and appeal in the ongoing civil investigation into the former president and his company, the Trump Organization, court documents say.
- Lawyers for former president Donald Trump and his children, Don Jr., and Ivanka, filed their appeal of a judge’s order that the trio needed to sit for their depositions on Monday.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organization misled banks or tax officials about the value of assets — inflating them to gain favorable loan terms or minimizing them to reap tax savings.
The Trumps and the New York Attorney General’s Office have come to an agreement on the impending depositions and appeal in the ongoing civil investigation into the former president and his company, the Trump Organization, court documents say.
Lawyers for former president Donald Trump and his children, Donald Jr., and Ivanka, filed their appeal of a judge’s order that the trio needed to sit for their depositions on Monday. The parties agreed Thursday that there will be an accelerated briefing schedule in the appeal fight before the First Appellate Division.
In addition, the two sides agreed to hold off on the deposition until that appeal is heard and decided on.
If the Appellate Division determines that the three Trumps need to sit for the depositions, the agreement filed Thursday says that they must sit within 14 days of that decision for the deposition. Unless, the Appellate Deposition stays the deposition for a period of time as part of their ruling.
The three were initially scheduled to be deposed by Thursday.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organization misled banks or tax officials about the value of assets — inflating them to gain favorable loan terms or minimizing them to reap tax savings.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
The Trump Organization and longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg were charged in what prosecutors said was a sweeping, 15-year "orchestrated" scheme to compensate top executives of the former president's company "off the books" and help them avoid paying taxes.
The Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to charges that included tax fraud and falsifying business records. Weisselberg, 73, pleaded not guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud charges, among others, after prosecutors accused him of personally avoiding taxes on $1.7 million of his income.
In the past, the Republican ex-president has decried James' investigation as part of a “witch hunt" along with a parallel criminal probe being run by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Although James' civil investigation is separate from the criminal investigation, her office has been involved in both, dispatching several lawyers to work side-by-side with prosecutors from the Manhattan D.A.'s office.
Last year, then-District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. gained access to the longtime real estate mogul’s tax records after a multiyear fight that twice went to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also brought tax fraud charges in July against the Trump Organization and Weisselberg.
Before he left office, Vance convened a new grand jury to hear evidence in the investigation, but left the decision on additional charges to his successor, Bragg.
Trump has been subpoenaed before, testifying in October in a deposition for a lawsuit brought by protesters who say his security team roughed them up early in his presidential campaign in 2015. Some presidents were subject to subpoena while in office, including Richard Nixon in 1974 for his infamous Watergate recordings.
Thursday's announcement of an agreement reached when it comes to the depositions and appeal is just the latest in the ongoing years-long saga for Trump. Last month, Trump's accountants informed the Trump Organization that 10 years' worth of the former president's financial statements can no longer be relied upon -- and instructed his company to tell all of his lenders the same.
The letter from Mazars to the Trump Organization's chief legal officer was dated Feb. 9, and was disclosed Feb. 14 by the New York attorney general's office, part of a filing in the office's ongoing battle with Trump attempting to compel his testimony in a civil investigation.
It covers financial documents prepared for Trump for the 10 fiscal years that ended Jun 30, 2011 through June 30, 2020, including almost all of his presidency.
"We have come to this conclusion based, in part, upon the filings made by the New York Attorney General on January 18, 2022, our own investigation, and information received from internal and external sources," Mazars general counsel William Kelly wrote.
"While we have not concluded that the various financial statements, as a whole, contain material discrepancies, based on the totality of the circumstances, we believe our advice to you to no longer rely upon those financial statements is appropriate," the letter from Mazars continued.
The firm said its conclusion was based on filings made by the attorney general’s office, their "own investigation" and other information from different parties.
Days after the accountants informed the Trump Organization not to use 10 years worth of tax records, the two top prosecutors involved in the investigation of the Trump Organization and former president Donald Trump have resigned from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, a spokesperson confirmed to NBC News.
Carey Dunne, who championed the legal fight to get the former president’s tax returns and tax-related documents all the way to the Supreme Court (twice) and won has left the office along with Mark Pomerantz, who was recruited from private practice to help lead the investigation, spokesperson Danielle Filson said.
Filson, representing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office, said in a statement, "We are grateful for their service" and "the investigation is ongoing."
She said she could not comment further.
Dunne presented the charges against Weisselberg and the Trump Organization itself last July.
Pomerantz was hired by then-Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance because of his expertise in white collar and complex financial cases. Pomerantz had taken in a role in interviewing witnesses, NBC News has previously reported.