Forbes writers questioned before Trump Organization grand jury


Randall Lane, Content Manager and Editor-in-Chief at Forbes, written in an article published Friday that he and a colleague Chase Peterson-Withorn were questioned about statements Trump made to them which were published in two articles. Lee wrote that they were subpoenaed three months ago to appear before the grand jury and only did so after a judge ordered them to answer a limited number of questions to confirm the accuracy of their articles. New York state rules limit how prosecutors can present information to a grand jury.

Prosecutors focused on the accuracy of Trump’s financial statements and whether he and the company misled lenders when seeking funding, CNN reported. Testimony from Forbes reporters indicates that prosecutors want these Trump quotes recorded in front of the grand jury as it examines questions about Trump’s finances.

A spokesperson for Cy Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, declined to comment.

Thursday’s testimony, according to the article, focused on quotes Trump gave to writers, including: “I’m prettier if I’m worth $ 10 billion than if I’m worth $ 4 billion” and that Trump said higher net worth “was good.” for funding. ”They were also asked to confirm that Trump told them that Forbes’ estimated value of the Trump Tower should be increased five or six times by $ 530 million and he bragged about being able to sell the building. for $ 2.5 billion to $ 3 billion, Forbes wrote.

Peterson-Withorn was asked whether Trump told him his Trump Tower apartment was worth at least twice the $ 100 million estimate the magazine reported, Forbes reported. The article noted that Peterson-Withorn had been specifically questioned about Trump’s claim that the apartment was 33,000 square feet.

Trump’s claims about his net worth have come under scrutiny for years, and he has been questioned under oath about them in the past, statements prosecutors may consider.

In 2007, Trump requested testimony in an unsuccessful libel lawsuit he filed against author Tim O’Brien, author of Trump Nation, a book that explored Trump’s wealth.

In that deposition, Trump said he calculated his net worth, to some extent, on his “feelings” and that he gave the “best rotation” to some of the assets.

“I think everyone” is exaggerating the value of their properties. “Who wouldn’t? “

Did he inflate the values, he was asked. “Not beyond reason,” Trump said, insisting he gave his “advice” to a key associate and “ultimately” let that person make the decision, according to the deposition.

Trump said in the deposition that Allen Weisselberg, his chief financial officer, helped prepare the financial statements. At the same time, financial statements and testimony seem to show that while Trump has claimed he left those valuation decisions to someone else, he was also deeply involved in running his business.

O’Brien told CNN he had not spoken with the DA’s office and that they had not asked him to appear before the grand jury.

The Trump Organization and Trump have both called the investigation a witch hunt.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization were accused in July of being involved in a 15-year tax fraud scheme. Both Weisselberg and the company have pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.


Comments are closed.