(L) New York Attorney General Letitia James in August 2020. (R) Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump on January 20, 2021 Brendan McDermid/Leah Millis/Reuters
The Trump Organization’s former law firm must hand over documents to the New York Attorney General.
It’s the latest step in a probe into whether Trump falsely inflated the value of his assets.
A judge ruled that the documents were not protected by attorney-client privilege.
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A law firm that formerly represented the Trump Organization has been ordered to hand over documents to a New York Attorney General investigating the former president.
Letitia James’ investigation into the organization’s finances – and Trump’s personal finances – aims to determine if the Trump Organization falsely inflated the value of Trump’s assets to get access to loans and tax benefits.
The law firm that previously worked for the organization, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, had argued that the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege, according to Reuters.
But as it concerned business, not legal advice, Justice Arthur Engoron said that they weren’t protected, the agency reported.
“A lawyer’s communication is not cloaked with privilege when the lawyer is hired for business or personal advice, or to do the work of a nonlawyer,” Reuters reported Engoron as ruling on Friday.
According to the Associated Press, James is looking into transactions and documents around assets, including:
Seven Springs, a 212-acre estate north of New York City, Trump intended to turn into a golf course.
Trump National Golf Club near Los Angeles.
Read more: Meet Donald Trump’s next nemeses: The 15 prosecutors and investigators from New York who are primed to pepper the ex-president with history-making civil and criminal probes
James has already scored a victory over the Trump family. In November 2019, Trump settled a case for $2 million. He and his children were accused of misusing funds from the Trump Foundation for personal gain.
The case alleged that Trump had used the charity’s assets to impact the 2016 primaries.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius employs Trump’s longstanding former tax counsel Sheri Dillon, according to Reuters.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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