In a press conference on Wednesday (Sept. 21), James announced that her office was filing a lawsuit against Trump, accusing him of fraudulently overvaluing his assets by billions of dollars to insurers and lenders as “part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family and his company” over a ten year period from 2011 to 2021. Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump were also named in the suit along with former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg and Trump Organization executive Jeffrey Mcconney.
James stated that the civil lawsuit seeks $250 million from Trump, and aims to bar him and his children from running any company in the state of New York. It also looks to ban Trump and the Trump Organization from buying any commercial real estate in New York or applying for loans for five years. “No one is above the law,” she said often during the press conference.
The 220-page lawsuit was filed in the State Supreme Court, and the Attorney General’s office also made a criminal referral of bank fraud to the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. Further details from the lawsuit contain “over 200” examples of alleged fraudulent behavior, which “barely scratch the surface of the misconduct” discovered by James and her investigative team. “Claiming you have money you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It’s the art of the steal,” she said.
The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the media, as it is the latest sign of the walls closing in on the former President. Weisselberg is slated to testify on behalf of the state in an October trial of the Trump Organization, and there are increasing signs that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wills floated criminal charges in Georgia over his attempted tampering in the 2020 Presidential election. Trump would appear on Fox News later that evening and claim James’ suit is politically motivated, also calling her “racist” against him. “She campaigned on it. Four years ago was a vicious campaign and she just talked about Trump and we’re going to indict him, we’re going to get him. She knew nothing about me. I never heard of her,” he said.