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Judge orders Trump, children to answer questions about their ...

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The New York Times
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"To proclaim that the Mazars' red-flag warning that the Trump financial statements are unreliable suddenly renders the OAG's long-running investigation moot is as audacious as it is preposterous," the judge wrote.In oral arguments Thursday, Trump lawyer Alina Habba focused on a number of statements James had made about Trump both before and after she became attorney general and contended the investigation should be shut down because of what she called the James' bias against her client.“We have an extraordinary rare case where we can prove selective prosecution because she’s put her words out there so much and taken every opportunity to voice her vendetta against Donald Trump and his family to take him down,” Habba said.The judge criticized James' previous comments at the hearing, saying they were "very pointed, very aggressive" and helped contribute to a "circus"-like atmosphere, but he said in the ruling that there was no evidence the investigation was not legitimate.Engoron said that if James had not investigated the company, it “would have been a blatant dereliction of duty (and would have broken an oft-repeated campaign promise).”"Indeed, the impetus for the investigation was not personal animus, not racial or ethnic or other discrimination, not campaign promises, but was sworn congressional testimony by former Trump associate Michael Cohen that respondents were 'cooking the books,'" he wrote.On Thursday, the Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee, citing Mazars' disavowal of the statements, urged the General Services Administration to cancel its lease for Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel. Trump reportedly struck a deal to sell the lease late last year, and he stands to make a $100 million profit if the GSA approves the sale, the committee noted.In a filing this week responding to specific allegations from the attorney general about the Trump Organization's financial statements, Habba said Trump denies "knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations.”The day after that filing, however, Trump issued a lengthy statement defending his company's accounting, saying, "We have a great company with fantastic assets that are unique, extremely valuable and, in many cases, far more valuable than what was listed in our Financial Statements."He said Mazars had been "essentially forced to resign from a great long-term account by the prosecutorial misconduct of a highly political, but failed, gubernatorial candidate, Letitia James, and the Hillary Clinton run District Attorney’s Office of Manhattan." The attorney general's office flagged the statement to the judge in a letter Wednesday.“It is not unusual for parties to a legal proceeding to disagree about the facts,” the letter said.

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