Posted BY: Kari Donovan
The radical social justice-obsessed Attorney General of New York state, Letitia James, has been exposed as a loser who has tried to scalp President Donald J. Trump numerous times and fallen on her face each time. This latest attempt by the crazed AJ may be no exception if Trump is right in his recent court filings.
Trump says he warned people, in official legal documents sent to investors, of the very things James is trying to convince the nation Trump was trying to hide- in her recent stab at getting Trump, claiming he showed fraudulent business practices.
James accused Trump of routinely lying about the value of his properties to secure hundreds of millions in bank loans and tax breaks; she wants a judge to order $250 million in penalties and to bar the Trump family from selling, buying, collecting rent, or borrowing money in New York.”
The outcome is by no means assured. Trump has several options on how to fight back against the highly politicized actions of the radical left AG.
“Donald Trump says a simple disclaimer gives him immunity from fraud. Could he have a point? Trump’s net-worth statements start with disclaimers that essentially warn lenders: Check my math,” Lauren Italiano reported for Business Insider.
Trump’s financial statements were unsealed last week as part of James’ fraud lawsuit him, which has all been laughed at in the court of public opinion, humiliating the disgraced James as nothing more than an obsessed social justice warrior.
Recently, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that his financial disclaimers to investors- absolve him of responsibility, and the AG has “no case.”
Italiano reported on the details, adding:
“Donald Trump hunched forward in his gold-painted, spindle-backed chair under the chandeliers of Mar-a-Lago’s glittering grand ballroom and told Sean Hannity why New York’s attorney general, who’d sued him earlier that day, has “no case.”
“We have a disclaimer,” Trump told the Fox News host.
“Right on the front. And it basically says, you know, get your own people. You’re at your own risk … It may be way off.”
Business insider offered the following photographic evidence of Trump’s claim:
Trump was describing the disclaimer that fills the second and third pages of his annual proclamations of net-worth — the 20-page “Statements of Financial Condition” at the center of AG Letitia James’ massive lawsuit against the former president, his three oldest kids, and his real estate and golf resort empire.
James calls these statements “fraudulent,” and says each one is filled with wildly exaggerated math — implausible numbers that misled banks into lending Trump and the New York-incorporated Trump Organization hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade.
But Trump told Hannity none of that would matter because each Statement of Financial Condition begins with a warning.
“Be careful,” Trump told Hannity, the disclaimers essentially say.
Even Business Insider experts claim that Trump may have a point in their reporting.
Trump told Hannity that he felt he had the ‘smoking gun’ that would clear him saying about the disclaimer, “Because it may not be accurate. It may be way off … get your own people. Use your own lawyers,” Trump added. “Don’t rely on us.”
“Former financial crimes prosecutor Armen Morian, who worked for the AGs office from 2006 to 2019 before founding Morian Law, believes Trump has a point.
Sure, the annual Statements of Financial Condition may be filled with real whoppers, including all those years — from 2012 through 2016 — when they tripled the actual square footage of Trump’s triplex atop Manhattan’s Trump Tower, adding as much as $200 million a year to the former president’s net worth,” Italiano reported.
But each year, the disclaimers put banks on notice to double check the numbers before relying on them in deciding how much to lend and at what rate of interest, Morian said.
Yahoo news consulted legal experts like Tristan Snell, the lead prosecutor on the AG office’s separate, successful investigation into Trump University and reported with more details about the defense:
A property’s worth is subjective, and Trump’s side will certainly argue this in trying to beat James’ lawsuit. But you can’t simultaneously low-ball (for a tax break) and high-ball (to impress lenders) values for the same property, as James is alleging Trump did for years, the former prosecutors said.
“They can’t both be true” at the same time, said McCallion. “And you don’t have to prove which one was true and which one was false” to show fraud.
You also can’t pull a valuation out of thin air.
“There’s subjective, and there’s complete fantasyland,” noted Snell.
Fantasyland, as in Trump’s objectively false 2015 claim that his Trump Tower triplex on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue spanned 33,000 square feet. It was actually 11,000 square feet, a whopper of an exaggeration first reported by Forbes.
Tripling his square footage let Trump claim his triplex was worth $327 million in collateral for a bank loan.
It’s an “absurd” appraisal, James told reporters in unveiling the lawsuit, given that at the time, “only one apartment in New York City had ever sold for even $100 million.”
Morian countered, though, that it’s common real estate practice for businesses to seek out and to use very different valuations, depending on whether you’re trying to lower your taxes or impress a bank.
“So long as the valuation is based on some rationale, you are not required to use the same methodology” for every appraisal, Morian argued.
“The methodology could have been wrong. The methodology could have been optimistic. But that doesn’t make a fraudulent statement,” he said.
“You can’t say your 3-year-old daughter’s version of the Mona Lisa is worth the same as the Mona Lisa,” Morian explained. “That would be ridiculous. And you can’t say the Mona Lisa is worth $3. But basically, there’s a broad range of discretion for how you value assets.”