Donald Trump lawyer downplays ‘incredibly subjective’ asset valuations amid fraud probe

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A lawyer for former President Donald Trump has said asset valuations are “incredibly subjective” amid ongoing investigations into whether the Trump Organization misjudged property values.

Attorney Alina Habba spoke to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday about New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into potentially fraudulent property appraisals.

James said on Tuesday that his office had uncovered “significant evidence” that the Trump Organization had used misleading valuations in order to gain “economic benefits.”

Hannity asked Habba about the New York AG investigation and allegations regarding asset valuations. “Real estate appraisals – valuations of any property – are really subjective,” Habba said.

“The lenders we are talking about are institutional and sophisticated lenders.

“If you think that the Deutsche Banks of the world are lending money to anybody without having their own processes and tools in place and valuing assets from scratch – which is incredibly subjective, incredibly subjective – then you doubt many banks and people who would work with the Trump organization or the Trump family.

“It’s ridiculous.”

During his relatively brief chat with Hannity, Habba also leveled broad criticism of James, calling his involvement in a criminal and civil investigation by the Trump Organization “unethical.”

James’ office conducted a civil investigation into the Trump Organization, and attorneys from his office joined a criminal investigation led by the Manhattan District Attorney. As a result, the New York AG office is currently conducting parallel criminal and civil investigations.

On Tuesday, James’ official Twitter account posted a series of tweets relating to the civil investigation.

“We uncovered significant evidence that the Trump Organization has used fraudulent and misleading asset appraisals on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits including loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions for years,” said James’ office.

“Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump were all closely involved in the transactions in question, so we will not tolerate their attempts to evade testimony in this investigation,” the tweets continued, adding, “No one is above the law.”

James also filed a court case on Tuesday as part of the civil investigation into the issue of asset valuations and Deutsche Bank. She seeks to compel Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump to testify under oath.

The filing states that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, “was a primary contact for the Trump Organization’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank. As part of this work, Mrs. Trump caused Deutsche Bank to submit misleading financial statements. and the federal government.

The former president has denied any wrongdoing, and a spokesperson for the Trump Organization released a statement on Tuesday accusing James of “misleading the public.”

“She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at any cost without seeing a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule,” the statement read.

Newsweek asked Letitia James’ office for comment.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to a member of the media after a border security briefing June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. A Trump attorney has played down allegations that the Trump Organization misjudged the value of the assets.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

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