New York sub­poe­nas records of con­sult­ing fees for Ivanka Trump

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION -

NEW YORK — New York’s at­tor­ney gen­eral has sent a sub­poena to the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion for records re­lated to con­sult­ing fees paid to Ivanka Trump — the lat­est step in a broad civil in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the pres­i­dent’s busi­ness deal­ings, a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said.

The New York Times, cit­ing anony­mous sources, re­ported that a sim­i­lar sub­poena was sent to the pres­i­dent’s com­pany by the Man­hat­tan district at­tor­ney, which is con­duct­ing a par­al­lel crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The As­so­ci­ated Press could not im­me­di­ately conf irm the district at­tor­ney’s sub­poena, but an of­fi­cial briefed on the state’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity Thurs­day, de­scribed the one sent by New York Atty. Gen. Leti­tia James.

The records re­quests fol­lowed a re­cent re­port in the New York Times, based in part on two decades of Pres­i­dent Trump’s tax f il­ings, that said he had re­duced his com­pany’s tax li­a­bil­ity over sev­eral years by de­duct­ing $ 26 mil­lion in con­sult­ing fees as a busi­ness ex­pense.

Records sug­gested that $ 747,622 of that was paid to Ivanka Trump, his el­dest daugh­ter, through a com­pany she owned when she was also a Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion ex­ec­u­tive, the news­pa­per re­port said.

If true, that wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily pose a prob­lem for Ivanka Trump as long as she paid in­come tax on the con­sult­ing pay­ments, which she re­ported pub­licly.

It could, how­ever, raise ques­tions about whether the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s re­lated tax de­duc­tions were al­low­able. The In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice has in the past pur­sued civil penal­ties over large con­sult­ing fee write­offs it found were made to dodge tax li­a­bil­ity.

The New York Times said there was no in­di­ca­tion that Ivanka Trump is a tar­get of ei­ther the state’s or the city’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“This is ha­rass­ment pure and sim­ple,” she tweeted late Thurs­day. “This ‘ in­quiry’ by NYC democrats is 100% mo­ti­vated by politics, pub­lic­ity and rage. They know very well that there’s noth­ing here and that there was no tax ben­e­fit what­so­ever. These politi­cians are sim­ply ruth­less.”

The Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s lawyer, Alan Garten, and its me­dia re­la­tions of­fice didn’t re­turn mes­sages left Thurs­day.

James and Man­hat­tan Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance Jr., both Democrats, are con­duct­ing wide- rang­ing in­quiries into the pres­i­dent’s busi­ness af­fairs.

Both in­ves­ti­ga­tions are at least partly re­lated to al­le­ga­tions, made in news reports and by Trump’s for­mer lawyer Michael Co­hen, that Trump had a his­tory of inf lat­ing the value of some as­sets to im­press banks and busi­ness part­ners, then low­er­ing that value when seek­ing tax ben­e­fits.

Vance has been in­volved in a long court bat­tle seek­ing ac­cess to Trump’s tax fil­ings as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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