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Attorney General Rejects Trump’s Settlement Offer, Sets Stage For Fraud Suit

Former President Donald Trump

New York Attorney General Letitia James rejected a proposed civil settlement from lawyers for Donald Trump, setting the stage for a potential lawsuit accusing the former president of fraud, The New York Times reports.

It is the latest salvo in a lengthy inquiry into activities conducted by Trump and his real estate business, The Trump Organization, with a focus on determining whether they artificially altered the value of properties.

James is also considering a lawsuit against at least one of Trump’s adult children, all of whom have spent time as executives within the Trump Organization, the Times reported, citing anonymous sources. 

Trump last month sat for a deposition in the case but exercised his Fifth Amendment rights, reportedly more than 500 times, during questioning. Cushman & Wakefield, which served as the appraiser for the properties at the heart of the AG's investigation, turned over roughly 36,000 documents to the attorney general’s office as part of the investigation, after being briefly held in contempt for failing to provide them.

Trump Organization lawyers have reportedly tried to make a deal with the attorney general’s office — after the former president was also held in contempt for initially failing to adequately respond to a subpoena — but have been unsuccessful so far.

The former president has denied any wrongdoing, but the attorney general’s investigation isn’t the only legal problem he or his company is facing.

The company and its former chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, will face trial next month on tax fraud allegations, with Weisselberg expected to plead guilty to a charge with a reduced sentence.

Separately, the FBI in August executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida in search of classified documents that Trump allegedly illegally removed from the White House at the end of Trump’s presidency.