The Trump Organization is facing existential threats with a new lawsuit filed by New York attorney general Letitia James and a tax fraud trial scheduled to start next month.
The attorney general filed a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump, his three eldest children, his family-owned business and some of the company's top executives, alleging that they wildly inflated property values for personal gain and underreported assets for tax purposes -- and former federal prosecutor Andrew Weismann told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that's not the only peril they face.
"They did something very smart here, which is they really tried to focus on things that are not subjective," Weismann said. "You know, appraisals are notoriously loose and financial statements can have disclaimers that they're not audited, but as you noted, the things that the New York attorney general focused on are things that are objectively false. So I think that was just very smart, and also the number of things that were repeatedly false makes it, I think, a very hard case, and also, remember because this is a civil case, the standard of proof is just a preponderance, slightly likelier than 50 percent, and the fact that a number of defendants, including Donald Trump, asserted the Fifth Amendment, may be used against them in the proceeding so that it can carry an adverse inference in a civil case. It couldn't in a criminal case."
"So it looks very strong, and it's also worth noting this is not the only trouble that the Trump Organization has because they are facing a criminal trial in the Manhattan district attorney's office starting in less than a month," Weismann added, "so the Trump Organization itself has really got a world of pain right now."
Watch the video below or at this link.
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