Trump faces fraud lawsuit from NY attorney general

People photograph the outside of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, in May. (Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP)

The lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James accuses former President Donald Trump of using allegedly doctored financial statements in his and Ivanka Trump’s personal pursuit to open a luxury hotel in Washington, DC, in the years before he ran for the presidency.

The statements were “critical to the overall success of the investment in the Old Post Office property in Washington, DC,” which became the Trump International Hotel, James’ lawsuit says.

James alleges Ivanka Trump and her father pitched to the General Services Administration his financial capability – including by sending the agency financial statements that included misrepresentations – in order to secure the lease for the hotel.

James says the father-daughter duo also gave an in-person presentation to the agency, which ultimately awarded them the lease of the federal government-owned building beginning in 2013.

While Trump was in office, the hotel, which is less than a mile from the White House, became a gathering place for his supporters and close contacts, and bookings grew because of the connection to the sitting president.

James also alleges the Trump Organization secured a $170 million loan from Deutsche Bank, partly based on false pretenses, according to James, to develop the hotel inside the historic Old Post Office building.

A banker there “at the urging of Ivanka Trump — kept close tabs on the bank’s consideration of the request,” James’ team wrote. As part of the financing, “Mr. Trump, as guarantor, would be required to provide his annual statement of financial condition to the bank,” the lawsuit says.

Trump personally guaranteed the loan. James’ lawsuit says he was supposed to verify the accuracy of his finances to the bank.

Some more context: House Democrats have sought for years to unearth details of Trump finances, with a top aim being understanding the Trump Hotel books. They were largely unsuccessful.

The Trump Organization sold the hotel in May 2022, enabling the company to repay the loan and earn a profit. The DC hotel property now operates as a Waldorf Astoria.