The attorney general of New York state is acting unconstitutionally and in an un-American way in investigating the Trump Organization, Eric Trump has insisted, claiming a civil inquiry into his father’s financial and tax affairs is politically motivated.
“This is what you would expect from Russia,” Trump told Fox News on Monday. “This is what you would expect from Venezuela. This is third-rate stuff.”
The investigation run by Letitia James is looking into questions including whether the Trump Organization altered property valuations for tax purposes. A separate, criminal investigation in Manhattan is covering similar ground.
Such alleged behavior has been widely reported. In 2016, as Donald Trump ran for the White House, the Guardian reported on a golf club outside New York City. The headline: How Trump’s $50m golf club became $1.4m when it came time to pay tax. Trump denies wrongdoing.
Eric Trump initially refused to comply with the James investigation but was taken to court then questioned in 2020. James has issued subpoenas to Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump. They have refused to comply.
The family has sued, alleging the investigation is politically motivated – a delaying tactic the New York Times said “Mr Trump has deployed in the past when faced with scrutiny by law enforcement and others”.
As the Times put it, “there is no constitutional protection against a prosecutor harboring a political bias”. Experts believe the Trump suit will not succeed.
Eric Trump’s remark about Russia raised eyebrows. He is reported to have told a golf writer, in 2014, that the Trump Organization did not “rely on American banks” because it had “all the funding we need out of Russia”. He denies the remark.
A coalition of influential political activists in Georgia that boosted turnout in a state crucial to Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 is refusing to attend the visit planned on Tuesday by the US president and Kamala Harris to speak on voting rights.
The group had warned the president and vice-president that they needed to announce a specific plan to get national voting rights legislation passed or risk their high-profile trip to Atlanta being dismissed as “a waste of time”.
On Monday evening, the coalition of activist groups – Black Voters Matter, Galeo Impact Fund, New Georgia Project Action Fund, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council – along with James Woodall, the Georgia NAACP president, announced that “we will not be attending” when Biden and Harris speak.
“Instead of giving a speech tomorrow, the US Senate should be voting tomorrow. What we need now, rather than a visit from the president, vice-president and legislators is for the White House and Senate to remain in DC and act immediately to pass federal legislation to protect our freedom to vote,” the groups said in joint statement.