tv Katy Tur Reports MSNBC September 21, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
good, goo to be with you. i'm yasmin vossoughian. today, bombshell news, the former president and the future of his real estate empire in legal peril, new york attorney general announcing the office is suing former president trump, his adult children, and the trump organization. in a lengthy press conference, earlier today, james accused the former president and his business of committing bank, tax, and insurance fraud, she laid out a series of example in a 220-page suit. >> over the course of our investigation, we found that mr. trump, his children, trump organization, created and used more than 200 false and misleading asset valuations on a statement of financial condition over the 10-year period. it referred a series of bank ordered appraisals for the commercial property at 40 wall
street, new york city, that calculated the value of the property at $200 million as of august 2010. and $220 million as of november 2012. yet, in his 2011 statement, mr. trump listed 40 wall street with a value of $524 million. which increased to $530 million over the next two years. more than twice the value calculated by the professionals. >> so the case is a civil suit, important to note that, and meaning there is no potential for jail time and more for the potential of criminal hot water, and we will talk about that in a moment. but the penalties, they could be amount to a whopping $250 million. trump and his kids, they could be barred from doing business at any new york-based office for five years, and the family and
the organization could be barred from borrowing funds from any new york state registered financial institution, and here is where it could get even bigger. for the family and for the former president. james said her office has referred the former president and his family to federal prosecutors and the irs for a criminal investigation. the trump organization also facing a criminal prosecution over its business dealings, in a suit led by the manhattan d.a. as well. so let's get in to all of this, and unpack this in the last 90 minutes or so. mark hilliard, and msnbc legal analyst and former u.s. attorney barbara mcquade, "new york times" washington correspondent, michael schmidt and "new york times" investigative reporter susanne craig. i want you to give me the basics of what we have learned in this 220-page suit, from what you've been able to comb through at
this point. >> i think what we're talking about here is a 220-page lawsuit that contends that donald trump, his children, and the trump organization inflated not only their value, but on their way to financial success, they did it through a means of financial fraud, often at the expense of taxpayers. that is what is here on the line in the state of new york at the hands of the new york attorney general, letitia james. she has also referred this to the federal attorney's office in the southern district of new york, as well as the irs criminal definition. in more than 200 cases, the letitia james lays out, admits the trump organization had 200 false and misleading valuations of assets on annual financial statements. the lawsuit contends not only was there a falsification of business record, the issuing of false financial statements, and also that trump and his family engaged in insurance fraud and that there is conspiracy to commit each of these state
violations. while the district attorney here is beginning to look ahead towards next month, a separate investigation that has led to a trial to be again on october 24th, related to another tax scheme rolfing allen weisselberg, chief financial officer, as well as the trump organization, this is talking about the civil litigation that could ultimately cripple not only the trump organization but provide significant financial ramifications for donald trump and his family. >> important to note here, as both you and i have noted across town in front of trump tower, we are dealing with the u.n. general assembly and all of the noise in the city happening behind you. and let me go to you and talk also about the reaction we're hearing from the trump camp. >> it is what you might expect. let's start with former president trump. there's a posting on his own social media platform that says,
in part, another witch hunt by a racist attorney general, letitia james, who failed to run for governor, and almost gained zero percent from the public, a fraud, campaigned on a get trump platform despite the fact that the city is one of the crime and murder disasters of the world under her watch. remember, this investigation goes back several years, and the two of them, james and trump have been going at each other during the whole thing, and it came months ago when mr. trump took the fifth some 300 jobs. and letitia james was there at that proceeding. and her comments, some of them were personal, for example, she said something to the effect of, this is not the art of the deal, which was the title of one of mr. trump's book, and it is the art of a steal, and she made a point of saying that former presidents are no different, and they're not above the law. so there has been a lot of back and forth, and again, here, as
you heard, as you saw in the tweet, president trump has described her as a racist individual, and again, attacks her politically, and trump's sons have also been on social media, and the basis of their attacks is this is all political witch hunt that she works for the democratic national committee and so forth, which is what we would expect. however, this case seems to be based primarily on these documents, these financial statements, that mr. trump, that the trump organization submitted, and that james made a point of saying that mr. trump approved of. based on how this happened, in meetings with mr. weisselberg, his former chief financial officer who was also facing some criminal charges, or i should say pled guilty to 15 criminal counts in a recent case, and faces five years in jail on other matters but again, financial matters related to the trump organization. so that's what we're hearing in the back and forth, and an escalation, a continuation of what is going on between donald
trump and letitia james, for many, many years. >> before we dig into more details of the suit, barbara, susan, michael, i kind of want to get all of your three reactions of things that have really stood out, not only from the press conference, from attorney general letitia james, but what you have been able to kind of get through in that 220-page suit. barbara, let me start with you. >> my observation is this a document case, and prosecutors love document cases because documents don't lie, and documents don't forget. and so to the extent that donald trump wants to portray this as a witch hunt or people are out to get him, those documents will do the talking in court and one of the easiest cases for a prosecutor to make and a number shows property to be valued at one number on one document and a different number to be valued on a different document for a different purpose. so this case appears to me to be one that could be made almost
completely with document. it sounds like they had a narrator coming inside explaining who knew what and the role of donald trump and it seems to me to be a strong case for those reasons. >> i wonder, barbara, as a follow-up here, in talking about the january 6th investigation, as to whether or not the d.o.j. was going to move forward with prosecution in any way, shape, or form, much of the conversations surrounding that was this thing has to be open and shut for merrick garland to move forward, right? he's got to know essentially 99% he is going to win. we're not going to prosecute a former president if you think you may lose. is the same bar here for letitia james? do you have a sense, a feeling, that this is fairly black and white, open and shut, considering she has chosen to pursue the civil suit? barbara? >> you don't want to lose a case where this this is this kind of
public scrutiny and provocative statements to the press and i think it opens up to some of this criticism but i think it appears to be a strong case because of the documents, and the very nature of it, and so i think the other thing that is really helpful in a civil case is you don't have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt which may be the reason the u.s. attorney's office has been part of this, but only a preponderance of the evidence. so that makes this case a much easier one to win. >> what stood out to you in this suit that you've gotten to, so far? >> some of the allegations that are laid out are ones that the fraud, the crimes that are being alleged here, went on, while trump was president, that these, that the problems that they've uncovered here, and that they're looking at and they're making their case around include actions that happened when he
was in the oval office. and just as part of sort of the broader issue here, we find trump in an incredibly vulnerable position. i know at different points throughout his presidency and post-presidency, you know, there have been people saying look, the walls are really closing in, he really faces an extensive amount of investigations, they just seem to be multiplying, his legal problems seem to be multiplying, just in the past few months. if we look at how we learned over the sum that's right justice department was looking at the january 6th things through a criminal lens, the mar-a-lago document stuff that happened in august, now this, and donald trump is really, has just a buffet of legal problems to confront, and with that comes the need to go out and find more lawyers, to pay legal fees, and you know, something that would really soak up a lot of time and attention, if you're really paying attention to it as a
defendant. >> what are the implications, michael, if in fact many of these things are carried out as alleged by the attorney general, while donald trump was president, and is this not where he thrives most when he is being sued, when he's being, as he sees it, attacked? >> well, it allows him to sort of try and turn it around, and say that he's being targeted, and he has used that, basically even when he was running the federal government, and it was difficult to investigate him, because he was president, he was making those allegations and those accusations that he was being unfairly targeted by his own government. so look, you know, he has found a way, time and time again, to get out of legal problems that most people didn't think he would be able to get himself out of. to barbara's point, documents, prosecutors really like documents because documents
don't lie, you know, is' very sort of easy for people to understand, a document x says one thing and document y says another, so that makes some of this probably easier than some of the other allegations that have been investigated about donald trump. so look, trump has shown an ability to survive things that we didn't think he would be able to. but this is, this is a significant development. >> absolutely. suzanne, let me go to you then, same question. what stood out to you so far? >> i'm still making my way through it, but the one thing that stood out to me, i think when people think about donald trump, you hear a lot of hyperbole, i've got the best building, i've got the best golf course, and you know, so these, and he says that a lot, so why has this become a criminal issue? and in these case, i got to tell you, they are very hard to prove with valuations and the reason why, is people like donald trump and other people when they come in, they have a valuation that's
usually been prepared by an outside company. chrisman wakefield in this case. it could be any company that you go to and get an appraisal, you can say i relied on outside advice. and this is sort of where, you know, this is why i came to this price, and that puts a lot of their bear, a lot of their responsibility off on that person and in this case, what i found powerful and getting into it, the attorney general mentioned it in her remarks which is he had professional advice and he ignored it. and went with another number. and that's where they got that over and over and over and i'm still going through it, but i found cases already, where you're seeing that. that's where he gets into big trouble, where he had an appraiser come in and say, this building's worth 100 million, and he said no, it's worth 180, and that's the document that went to the bank. that's the sort of stuff that i was getting excited about when i was reading it. >> i got to say, though, i did find it interesting, why
wouldn't a bank that's lending that much money be sending their own appraiser for instance to donald trump's apartment at trump power to see if in fact it was 3,000 square feet and worth over $30 million. >> in some cases, they might. have we don't know the back and forth, it still doesn't necessarily implicate him, if he still sent that over and conveyed that information through a bank, and got a loan, got maybe favorable interest rates and the other side of this goes to the irs, where he might have a land donation, where it's put into a conservatorship, and you get a tax break for that, and he said, in that case, we really inflate the property, because he wants the tax break, and that's the other side of it, where the taxpayer is, you know, potentially defrauded, and they're looking at that. but we don't know what the institutions on the other side of it, but it doesn't necessarily get him off the hook even if they did that. >> so we've gotten through about
a half of page of 220 pages at this point, in this show, so i'm asking bas -- barb, michael and you zan to stay with me, as we have an hour ahead of more coming up today. and a lot more happening today. the fed with an interest rate increase three quarters of a percentage point, and the fifth time the fed has raised rates and according to jerome powell, likely two more increases still to come. brian chung, msnbc data analyst. this is exactly the number that was predicted to come through. nonetheless, it is going to hurt, especially when it comes to borrowing for folks. the idea that it was ultimately, right, to avoid a recession, and slow inflation. your reaction to this decision by the fed? >> that's exactly it, yasmin. when we talk about what the federal reserve did about 15
minutes ago, the decision coming in, the fed making that interest rate increase, the third consecutive move of that magnitude and targeting short term rates between 3 and 3/4% now. and that's significant because it leads to more expensive auto loans and mortgages and other types of products which means it is the fed's effort continuing to try to slow this overheating economy, and now the fed messaging in the statement about 15 minutes ago, that more interest rate hikes will be coming in the future, and economic projections show the fed could have another 1% of interest rate hikes over the next year and a half. a lot to see if the fed follows through on that. >> quickly, i think some of the criticism is, especially as we head toward the midterm elections, folks really wanting to see that inflation coming down and we're seeing gas prices continuing to come down over the last couple of months and now a more comfortable place and still food prices are pretty sky high and not seeing the effects of the interest rate hikes on
slowing the rate of food prices and when could we see that begin to happen. >> projections from the economists at the federal reserve that they just released saying that they don't expect inflation, at least on a year over year measure, to fall back to pre-pandemic levels, any time in the next couple of months, which shows that even despite the efforts that we've already seen from the fed, it is pretty unprecedented aggressive moves so far, you shouldn't expect to see inflation fall down in the immediate aftermath. that means some patience going to be required as this inflation fight continues and again we will continue likely to see these rates at the credit card products and business loans as well likely continuing to increase. >> thank you, appreciate it. still ahead, everybody. what letitia james promised to do with the trump lawsuit announcement that could lead to criminal charges. and this lawsuit is not the only legal jeopardy the former president is facing. we're going to take a look at all of the pending investigations that still pose a threat to donald trump. we'll be right back. right back. e feel trapped in a fog. this is art inspired by real stories of bipolar depression.
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every day, people cannot lie to a bank about how much money they have to get a favorable loan to buy a lome, or to send their kid to college. and if they did, the government would throw the book at them. why should this be any different? >> all right, well new york's attorney general letitia james' lawsuit against the trump organization is a civil case, criminal charges could in fact come next. as part of today's announcement, the ag's office makes referrals to the irs and the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york for possible fral federal crimes. when asked by nbc news, a spokesperson declined to comment on the referral. and joining me on the set is the rachel maddow show, a legal analyst. is a, let me start with you. -- lisa, let me start with you.
and i think one of the things from the outset, the fact that there was no referral to justice, and talking about the southern district of new york, along with the irs. why do you think that is? >> i think that the appetite for additional investigations of president trump isn't particularly at an all time high. you and i both know that because of the records investigation, and the january 6th investigation, attorney general garland is under a tremendous amount of pressure, and attacks from all corners. there's some folks who don't think he is doing enough and some folks who think he is politically out to get a former president. by referring this physically to the southern district and doing so, so publicly, what i think what letitia james is trying to do is minimize the amount of political interference that could come from the injustice here which may not have that much capacity and appetite for trying to open a new investigation into president trump. >> barbara, what you are
expecting from the southern district of new york and/or the irs to do. it's very interesting, and i don't know, because remember, the southern district of new york has been looking at this case previously, and we have not heard anything from them in the past, but these are the kinds of bread and butter fraud cases that get charged all the time, for the u.s. attorney's office and letitia james has kind of put it all together, to draft it, and put it together and here you go. it seems quite possible now. if the charges are identical, then typically what the federal prosecutors would do is to stand down and allow the state case to proceed first. but because the dynamic of a civil case and what federal prosecutors look at as a criminal case, they may proceed and go forward as well. so if they have an appetite for, it in terms of the evidence, it seems like the evidence is very strong, and you can very easily convert in this into a criminal case. >> there is also the question of
the difference between a criminal and civil case, when it comes to pleading the fifth. i want to play a little bit of attorney general letitia james from earlier today and then we will talk on the other side. >> mr. trump and mr. weisselberg would meet to review and approve the final statement every year. mr. trump made known, through allen weisselberg, that he wanted his network reflected on the statements to increase. a desire mr. weisselberg and others carried out year after year in their fraudulent preparation of statements. and when asked about these meetings under oath, as part of our deposition, both men, mr. trump, and mr. weisselberg, invoked their fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination and they refused to answer. when asked under oath if he, mr.
trump, continued to review and approve the statements after becoming president of the united states in 2017, mr. trump again invoked his fifth amendment privilege, and refused to answer. >> they pled the fifth, but this is a civil case. >> yes, so the pleading the fifth, it may be invoked if you think the answer could expose to you criminal prosecution in any venues, so the southern district of new york or the manhattan district attorney's office, you can invoke your fifth amendment right. but what's different in those cases is that with this, letitia james can use that and bring it before a jury. it is an adverse inference to the invocation that the answer would have been unfavorable and in a criminal case, you can't mention it whatsoever. and that makes it a little easier to proceed civilly when
you're bringing a case as opposed to criminally. but again the fault of this case is really all about the documents, and so i don't know that that inference would preclude criminal charges. >> lisa, how will this play out, as you watch this thing? because a lot of folks will be watching the civil case play out but wondering what in fact the southern district is doing, how high the bar actually is to file a civil case against a former president, a criminal case against a former president of the united states. >> well, yes, you and i were just talking about, we're also watching the records investigation and the january 6th investigation, both of which could lead to criminal charges against the former president, too. one of the things i think folks will be watching for is how this ends with letitia james. there have been two againsts before, where the new york attorney general has proceeded against former president trump. one involves his former foundation which has been shut down and the other involves trump university and both ended with fairly sizable settlements
but also had some other consequences for the former president and his family. for example, they're not allowed to serve as officers of new york charities anymore. so one thing we'll be looking forward to is will this lead to a settlement while there is still the possibility of criminal charges outstanding? >> and you think there could be a run on the former president's assets, especially considering them seeking out $250 million in damages in this civil suit. >> i do. letitia james is looking for $250 million as you just mentioned, but she also mentions throughout the civil complaint that the misrepresentations that former president trump and allen weisselberg made, and the statements of financial condition, those would have been, and they still are, events of default under the lending agreements. there are probably a number of lenders all over this country right now who are looking at themselves as rates are going up, valuations are going down, thinking to themselves, what do we do now? this guy lied to us. he violated the terms of our agreement. we have the right to call the loan. will they? watch this space.
>> yes, exactly. >> lisa rubin, thank you. barbara mcquade, i will ask you to stick around a little bit longer. not just donald trump. three of his eldest children are also named in the attorney general's lawsuit and what they are being accused of and what kind of league jeopardy they now face. we'll be right back. i think i waited this long to get botox® cosmetic because i take like no time for myself. my kids are sports kids. we're always running from one activity to another. i'm still tonya, and i got botox® cosmetic, and this is like the first thing i've done for me in a really, really long time. my life is still crazy, it's just as full as it was before. just with less lines. botox® cosmetic is fda approved to temporarily make frown lines, crow's feet, and forehead lines look better. the effects of botox® cosmetic may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away, as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness
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brought to you by pfizer & biontech. it isn't just the former president who is accused of large scale business fraud. it is his children as well. as executive vice presidents of the trump organization, donald trump jr., ivanka trump, and eric trump were also aware of and knowingly participated in the scheme, indeed the fraudulent scheme was integral to the business of the trump organization and required the participation of trump and his children as well. joining me now is msnbc news correspondent tom winter. and an msnbc contributor. let me start you with and kind of give us the broad strike if you will, for the children's involvement in this suit. >> well, i mean they are tied definitely to this because they have had an active role in the business, and just to pick up on an interesting conversation you
were just having, as far as the long term impacts on the trump organization, the banks that currently hold the loans now, they might decide, you know what, we're going to keep going with this, we have a lawsuit and we like the terms of it and keep going from there, and they may have covenants in those agreements that they may have to come back to the trumps and do something different with the loans, but going forward, i think, and this is important, as it pertains to the former president's children, which is where does the organization go from here? and one of the things that we're still trying to get clarity on is this idea if this law goes through and the penalties are applied, they won't be able to apply for a loan with any bank registered by the new york department of finance for a period of five years. name a bank that's not registered with the new york department of finance. so the potential ramifications for the legacy of former president trump, that is his corporation and his kid's interest in the business, which of course is significant, when looking at them and clearly a huge part of not only their
father's political life but also of the trump organization, i think that is really a potential area going forward that could really harm their ongoing interests. >> what do you think of this idea that lisa brought up about the run on their assets possibly, considering that they were allegedly overinflated, and the fact that it is not just the former president's assets but we're talking about the children's assets possibly as well considering that they're implicated in this suit. >> right. considering the implication, considering also that potential as lisa mentioned the $250 million disgorgement, we can, that's how it is referred to, but effectively, it would be, it would act as if it was a penalty or a fine, and certainly, to come up with that amount of cash could potentially be difficult, and there is going to be a long term process, this is a civil suit that is not going to resolve itself by the end of this year and perhaps not by the end of next year or the year beyond but looking at all of that, in its totality, it is quite possible that the trump organization will need to shrink in terms of asset sales and i think that's something that lisa was referring to, and it is an
important part of it. one other thing i wanted to mention, if you were all, you were all speaking about the idea of a criminal referral, the reason why i think it's going to be going to the new york and the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district of new york is jurisdiction, so this is something you would look at as far as venue, bringing a case, and this is an organization that is headquartered in manhattan in new york city and that falls under the purview of the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district of new york. >> let's talk more about the children's exposure here and i want to read a little bit from the suit here. as executive vice presidents, the three children were intimately involved in the operation of the trump organization's business. they were aware of the true financial performance of the company, whether through donald trump jr.'s work on commercial leasing, ivanka trump's work on doral, trump chicago, or eric trump's work on the document portfolio and going on to list the concrete ways in which the children were intimately involved in the trump
organization. talk to me about their real exposure here in this suit, considering what the attorney general laid out here. >> well, one key difference between the trump children and their father is that they use email. he doesn't. and that's a huge insulator for him, or it has been until very recently, that he doesn't produce a paper trail. and he keeps himself surrounded by a small number of people with whom he communicates verbally, so if you want to know what he said, you got to talk to one of them. the trump children, donald trump jr., it is what you say, he uses email and it seems like they obtained some of the emails and using them against the children in this case. but also eric trump particularly was dealing with, you know, some of the most important questions or facts in this case, that has to do with assessments, appraisals of property, and eric trump was the one who was the point person on that, we deal with the appraisers, we say, you know, that somebody came with an appraisal he thought was too low, we try to pump it up, or the opposite and i think they have a lot of exposure because
their words are more equally captured and because they've created a paper trail that their father never did. >> we also know that ivanka and don jr., they testified in the civil probe back in july, i believe, and they did in fact not plead the fifth what do you say about that? >> i was surprised by that, because eric trump obviously, had a large number of times previously, and don jr. and ivanka apparently did not. i think that may be partly because eric trump was a little more closely involved with the most problematic aspects of these businesses but they seem to be indicating that don jr., a small role in the company dealing with commercial leasing should have known enough to know that some of these figures about commercial leasing were wrong, and that ivanka trump, she was the point person on like doral and the dc hotel, the now sold dc hotel, she was the one communicating with banks and here, this is my father's financial proposal, here is the
credit risk and here is why you should loan us the money and. so bad facts apparently flowed through her to some of the businesses an i was surprised that they did speak at length after their brother took the fifth and before their father took the fifth. >> tom winter, thank you. david, thank you as well. much more coming up, everybody. ag letitia james asking the judge to permanently bar the former president and his children from ever serving as officer or director in any new york corporation. could this move and other penalties spell the end for the trump organization? we'll be right back. we'll be ri.
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question is whether the business could survive if donald trump is found guilty. susan craig is with me and legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor in new york, ms. wine stein, thank you welcome to you both. let me start with you, susanne craig. talk about how encen offed still the trump -- entrenched the trump organization is in new york state real estate and new york state business dealings. >> they have some big assets in new york, trump tower being the most famous and they own an office building in lower manhattan, 40 wall street, and also there's a golf course and they have an estate called seven springs, so they have several assets, they obviously have other assets throughout the country, but they've got some key assets here, and he's most identified with new york. >> with that in mind, when you think about the future of the trump organization, and what the attorney general is in fact
seeking here, in this lawsuit, right, seeking to sanction the former president and his organization from being the office of any new york company for five years and seeking to bar them from lending from any new york-registered financial institution for five years as well, what does that do to an organization? >> well, yasmin, as you said yourself, she's not seeking judicial dissolution which is often referred to as a corporate death penalty, but i think the list of things that she is seeking are the equivalent of corporate life in prison, so the punishment right below the death penalty. the things that you have laid out, plus the fact that she is seeking $250 million, plus the fact that she is seeking a monitor, and this is kinds of karmic, something like a special
monitor to figure out what to do with the trump organization which means we may be on the other side of the tipping point in terms of the survival of this organization. i mean it has had nine lives. and probably many more. but this seems to me to be incredibly different. they're not criminal penalties. and i think it's important to say that. she doesn't have that authority. but i think that the ag is using nearly every authority until she can, to go as far as she can go, with her jurisdiction over civil fraud. >> do you see this as the beginning of the end of the trump organization? >> i think it is too hard to say that. today, we saw the attorney general in her wish list, and where this ends is a whole 'nother question, and we're a ways away from. that the trump organization could move, if they're, if their, if their family members aren't allowed to serve as officers, they could put unbarred officers in as one remedy. and i just think it is too soon.
i mean we talked, and there has been a lot of talk today about loan covenants, and it's obviously for any corporation, your access to cash is huge. and we don't know the covenants in all of those cases and what is going on, so i think some of this is still going to play out. there is no question it is going to be harder for him to get loans but that doesn't mean, let's say in a worst case scenario, he can get no more money flowing to him, loaned to him, and he has money coming up that needs to be renewed, he has assets that he can sell, and i think it is too soon, and i think we've got to see at the end of it, there could be a settlement that could allow them to continue to operate in some way, or we could have a, at the end of it, a court decision that's not as severe as the penalties that were asked for today. so i think it is too soon. >> i found it interesting, as i was taking a listen to the attorney general, i wondered how often things like this happen amongst the very wealthy, we know from "the new york times"
information, published back in june, talking about the tax loopholes that folks like jeff bezos take advantage of and the quote, plutocrates, like mr. bezos, mr. bloomberg, warren buffett, mr. musk and george soros were able to benefit from a complex web of tax loopholes. that is not a crime. tax loopholes, these are things that wealthy americans can take advantage of and that itself has its own conversation but in this filing as well, the attorney general did in fact say this. for too long, powerful wealthy people in this country have operated as if the rule does not apply to them. donald trump stands out as among the most egregious examples of this misconduct. in your reporting, how common is it, this type of fraudulent behavior, amongst wealthier americans, especially in the state. >> i think you have two things.
you have tax loopholes that the wealthy, and a lot of people take advantage of in and they're there, and it's not illegal, and donald trump is certainly over the years used tax loopholes and in ways, the tax code, to better his situation, and in this case though, you're talking about stuff that the attorney general is saying is clearly over the line, and he was, he was submitting what she is saying, false documents, and financial institutions, for his, for personal benefit. that's the sort of stuff that is illegal. and do other corporations do it? i'm sure there are examples where there. are today is his day in the sun for that. >> thank you. up next, everybody, we have a lot more ahead, on the show, the legal threat facing donald trump but a look at the other investigations putting the former president in peril, we'll be right back.
welcome back. the new york attorney general today adding another front to the multi-pronged legal battle that is inundating former president donald trump and his allies. as of today, he is being investigated by the d.o.j., the house of representatives, and a district attorney down in georgia for multiple allegations
that span from civil to criminal. we're talking about the possibility of charges linked to fraud. espionage, and obstruction of congress, just to name a few. michael schmidt back with me now to talk more about this. when you look at all of the cases right now that are pending, the investigations, the lawsuits that are pending, that the former president is having to handle, what to you stands out as michael, the biggest threat right now? >> well, it depends what you mean. look, the suit that's filed today is obviously a big threat to his business. and a potential big threat to his bottom line. and the amount of money that they're seeking. again, no criminal exposure there. it's not something that has spawned a criminal element that we know about. we know about the referral to sdny and the irs and we don't know if there is an actual investigation on the criminal side of that, but this is obviously something that could cost him a lot of money, and as susanne craig was saying earlier
would lead him to have to sell some of his assets. dose have a lot of assets that he -- he does have a lot of assets that key use to pay off the mounting legal bills or other fines or whatever that could come with this. the mar-a-lago case, the documents case, appears to be the biggest criminal federal issue that he has. we know that the justice department is investigating the efforts to overturn the election, the efforts that he was obviously a part of, to do that, but the mar-a-lago case is probably, from an evidence standpoint, a more troublesome thing to him, i think federal prosecutors would say, simply because of the amount of evidence that there is, and the clear misleading statements that have been provided to the justice department. >> letitia james's reference to michael cohen's testimony, the house oversight testimony in
2019 being part of the genesis of their investigation and subsequent lawsuit. let's take a listen to that exchange with alexander ocasio-cortez and then we'll talk. >> to to your knowledge did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company. >> who else knows that the president did this. >> allen weisselberg. >> where would the committee find more information on this? do you think we need to review his financial statements and tax statements to call for them? >> yes, you will find them at the trump ork. >> i'm surprised michael cohen isn't on given how outsupposen he has been and it is part of the first part of the investigation that really launched it all. . >> yes, michael cohen i think has been very frustrated with the fact that there wasn't
action taken on some of the allegations that he presented about the trump org sooner. i think this shows us just how difficult these cases are, and how long they take. so as you were saying, that happened back in 2019, here we are today, in 2022, talking about the fruition of those allegations, after they had been investigated, there had been depositions, they tried to talk to trump, they tried to talk to his family members, and there was settlement discussions, or an attempt at a settlement discussion, and now today, you have a 200-page document that lays out the allegations to the new york state attorney general. we haven't even gotten to the court part of this yet, where i'm sure there will be all sorts of appeals and motions filed, and this could drag on, even for more and more years to come. so it just gives you a sense of the sort of flash to bang on an
investigation, looking into allegations, even by the new york state attorney general, which my guess is, is probably as staffed up as any attorney general's office in the country, and it is a time-consuming labor-intensive experience. >> and by the way, we have a potential election on the horizon which he may be running in again. michael schmidt, hallie jackson picks up our coverage next. eragt , she'll get some help from fidelity to envision what's possible. fidelity can help her prioritize her goals by looking at her full financial picture. plus they'll help her pick an investment strategy, one she's comfortable with. and with a clear plan to get to retirement, rayna can enjoy wherever she's headed next. that's the planning effect, from fidelity. ♪ ♪
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so as we come on the air, the empire state striking back. donald trump now responding to that huge lawsuit coming from the new york attorney general, with the trump team basically saying hey, it amounts to nothing. letitia james says it is not nothing, it is a sprawling $250 million scheme to defraud taxpayers and others. this hour, we've got the immediate implications for the trump family and their business, and whether any referrals for federal criminal charges could go
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