Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trump rages as New York inquiry now criminal probe



Trump rages as New York inquiry now criminal probe

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former US President Donald Trump. AFP

Trump rages as New York inquiry now criminal probe

Former US President Donald Trump and his family faced the increasing likelihood of criminal charges on May 20 after New York state’s prosecutor said it was working with Manhattan investigators in its probe into the businessman and former reality TV show star’s business dealings.

The office of New York state Attorney General Letitia James announced late on May 18 that it was investigating the Trump Organization in a “criminal capacity”.

Previously, it had said its probe into possible tax, insurance and bank fraud was through civil proceedings, which do not carry the threat of an indictment or imprisonment.

Trump denies wrongdoing and released a statement on May 19 describing the investigation and the parallel criminal probe by Manhattan’s district attorney (DA) as “a continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in the history of the United States”.

The prosecutors in both Manhattan and New York state are Democrats.

James’ spokesman Fabien Levy said: “We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organisation is no longer purely civil in nature.

“We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”

The Trump Organization is the holding company for hundreds of Trump entities, ranging from hotels to golf courses.

It is not listed on the stock exchange and is therefore not required to report its accounts.

Investigators suspect the organisation may have artificially inflated and reduced the value of assets, particularly several properties in New York state, to either get bank loans or reduce their taxes.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance’s investigation initially focused on hush payments made to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump, but has expanded to allegations of tax evasion, and insurance and bank fraud.

Vance, who leaves his post at the end of December, acquired eight years of Trump’s tax returns in February after a years-long legal battle that went to the Supreme Court.

Two state assistant attorneys general will join the Manhattan DA’s efforts, according to sources familiar with the matter cited in The New York Times, as James’s office continues its civil inquiry.

Bennett Gershman, professor of criminal law at Pace University and a former Manhattan deputy attorney, said James’s announcement amounts to a “show of strength” by the two prosecutors.

“They are showing they mean business,” he said. “They are moving forward aggressively. They are not backing off.

“Looking at this announcement I’d say we are much closer to charges being brought,” Gershman added.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • NagaWorld protest part of ‘conspiracy’

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court and police held a joint-press conference on January 4 to clarify details concerning the arrest of nine former employees of the integrated resort NagaWorld and the charges brought against them, saying that the authorities had clear grounds for taking legal action.