Former President Donald Trump is opposing New York Attorney General Letitia James' request for an independent monitor to oversee the submission of financial statements to third parties by the Trump organization, according to recent court filings.
James has requested for a judge to name a watchdog who would review the financial records of the Trump organization and those in connection — lenders, insurers, and accountants — pending the lawsuit's outcome.
The September lawsuit accuses Trump, three of his adult children, their organization, and others of decadelong fraud.
Trump's lawyers responded to the request, saying it was "a politically motivated attempt to nationalize a highly successful private enterprise."
James' suit accuses the former president and the Trump Organization of misstating the value of certain real estate assets and his net worth on financial statements used to grant him loans, as well as secure insurance policies and tax benefits.
She claims Trump overstated his net worth by billions of dollars, and now she calls on federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the IRS to review the case for possible federal crimes. James said she obtained substantial evidence during her three-year civil probe of Trump, indicating possible crimes of bank fraud and false statements to financial institutions.
The attorney general is seeking $250 million in penalties.
In the filing, Trump's lawyers claim James is making "a bill of grievances based on nothing more than a misapplication of standard accounting principles and gross exaggeration of routine valuation differences between counterparties to complex commercial lending transactions."
The filing also states the requested monitor would have "staggeringly overbroad" powers because the individual would have access to "all of Trump Parties' financial records, compelling the Trump Parties to make onerous informational disclosures to the monitor, and grant the monitor operational oversight over the financial affairs of private business."
Trump lawyers claim James' request for such oversight "would effectively allow the NYAG to nationalize the Trump business empire."
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