Trump golf course took money 'out of the pockets of local school meal programs’: former federal prosecutor
Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Doral (screen grab)

Former president Donald Trump's golf resort in Westchester, New York, effectively "took money out of the pockets of local school meal programs," according to a former federal prosecutor.

Danya Perry, who once served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, appeared on MSNBC on Thursday night to discuss the Westchester County district attorney's investigation into whether Trump's golf course misled local officials about the property's value to reduce its taxes.

The investigation was first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday.

Host Rachel Maddow noted that after the town of Ossining assessed the value of the golf course at $15 million, the Trump Organization claimed it was worth only $1.4 million. Meanwhile, on financial disclosures, Trump reported the golf course's value at more than $50 million.

"Lying is one thing, but lying to tax authorities for the purpose of reducing your tax burden is a crime, and that appears to be what's under investigation by yet another state prosecutor, even as the Trump Organization is already under felony indictment by another prosecutor in New York state for alleged tax evasion," Maddow said.

Maddow asked Perry whether she believes it's significant that Elliott B. Jacobson, who spent more than three decades as a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, has come out of retirement to head up the Westchester golf course investigation.

"He (Jacobsen) comes with decades of experience particularly in the white collar space, public corruption and tax fraud investigations," Perry responded. "He's known as a meticulous investigator, someone who is anything but the kind of knee-jerk hothead looking to go out and witch hunt that is being portrayed. He is going to build this case, if he does, brick by brick."

"The fact that he's on board — has come out of retirement for this is I think significant — that this is something they're looking at quite seriously," she added. "He's also local. He's lived in Westchester for I think his whole career, and this is very much a local issue at the end of the day. There was a lot of upset, because there was a very large tax refund at the end of the day that was issued to this luxury golf course that literally came out of the pockets of the local school meal programs, and school supplies and the like. And so this seems to me like there were no doubt complaints, and those were listened to, and someone of the skillset and the temperament and the experience to build that case was probably brought on board very very carefully."

Watch the full interview below.

Rachel Maddow on Trump Westchester golf course probe