New York subpoenas records of consulting fees for Ivanka Trump
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.