New York’s Attorney General probes into Trump consulting payments that reduced his taxes

A law enforcement official on Thursday stated that New York’s attorney general has sent a subpoena to the Trump Organization for records regarding the consulting fees paid to Ivanka Trump as part of a broad civil investigation into Trump’s business dealings.

Anonymous sources have stated that a similar subpoena was sent to President Donald Trump’s company by the Manhattan district attorney, which is also conducting a probe into the matter.

The subpoena sent by Attorney General Letitia James was confirmed by an official who was briefed on the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The records requests followed recent reporting in The Times, based partly on two decades’ worth of Trump’s tax filings, that the president had reduced his company’s income tax liability over several years by deducting $26 million in consulting fees as a business expense.

According to strong records suggestions, $747,622 of those fees had been paid to Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter channelled through a company she owned at a time when she was a Trump Organization executive.

If reported true, that necessarily would not pose a problem for Ivanka Trump as long as she paid the income tax on the consulting payments, which she reported publicly. However, there is a possibility of it raising questions about whether the Trump Organization’s related tax deductions were allowable. Sources clarified that 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, adding that “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.”

Trump Organization’s lawyer, Alan Garten, and its media relations office didn’t respond immediately on the matter.

James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., both of them Democrats, are conducting extensive inquiries into Trump’s business affairs.

Both investigations are at least partly related to allegations, made in news reports and according to President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who said that Trump had a history of inflating the value of some assets to impress banks and business partners, but lowering it when seeking tax benefits.