NEW YORK, Nov. 4 (Reuters) – The Manhattan district attorney has called another grand jury to assess possible new charges in a case involving the Trump Organization, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The second grand jury was to examine how former President Donald Trump’s company was valuing its assets, The Washington Post reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Legal issues could complicate the company’s dealings with banks and could pose a challenge to Trump’s political future as he plans to run for another term in 2024. Trump called the accusations politically motivated.
The criminal case stems from an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, in conjunction with New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
An indictment unveiled in July accused the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, of tax evasion resulting from an investigation into Trump’s affairs and practices.
The indictment said the company was offering perks and perks such as rent-free apartments and rented cars to Weisselberg and other officials without proper declaration on tax returns.
Weisselberg and the company have pleaded not guilty. A Republican, Trump himself has not been charged.
The new grand jury sat after the term of the first grand jury expired, said the person familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity.
A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
A lawyer for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mary Mulligan, Weisselberg’s lawyer, declined to comment.
Trump’s company operates hotels, golf courses, and resorts around the world. Before entering the White House in January 2017, Trump placed him in a trust overseen by his adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as Weisselberg. The current state of the trust was not immediately clear.
Besides Weisselberg, another Trump Organization executive who has come under fire is COO Matthew Calamari.
Calamari’s lawyer Nicholas Gravante has not yet been told whether his client will be charged or subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, another person familiar with the investigation told Reuters on Thursday.
Calamari’s son Matthew Calamari Jr. testified before a grand jury in September in connection with the case and enjoys immunity from possible prosecution, said the person, who requested anonymity.
James’ investigation was initially civilian in nature, but in May his office said it was also investigating the Trump Organization on a criminal basis and had partnered with Vance.
While it was not immediately clear what the second grand jury was focusing on, James’ civil investigation examined how the Trump organization assessed the value of Seven Springs, a 212-acre estate in the northern suburbs of New York, and in particular a 2015 agreement not to develop part of the property.
The attorney general’s office said in a court filing for investigation that an appraiser hired by Trump before the deal had valued the property at $ 56.6 million and the value of the easement at $ 21.1 million. dollars – the amount claimed by Trump as an income tax deduction.
James said she is also investigating a Los Angeles golf club owned by the Trump Organization, which gave the company a tax deduction for a conservation easement in 2014, as well as buildings the company owns in Wall Street and Chicago.
She said she opened the investigation after former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen said Trump’s financial statements were manipulated into getting better loans or lowering property taxes.
Vance, a Democrat, will step down at the end of the year. James, also a Democrat, has said she will run for governor of New York in 2022.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Written by Luc Cohen; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Alistair Bell and Aurora Ellis
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.