Former President Donald Trump wrote Thursday on social media that he cannot be sued for fraud because he paid off loans taken from lenders “in full on or before the due date” or is still paying them off.
Trump was responding to a civil lawsuit announced Wednesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
She alleges that he, the Trump Organization and his children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, inflated their net worth and misled lenders and others with false and misleading financial statements.
The former president shared a screenshot of a tweet critical of the lawsuit on his social media platform Truth Social on Thursday.
“There is no damage, the banks received full interest payments and after years of receiving these payments and making a lot of money on said receipt, not to mention fees, the loans were paid off in full on or before the due date or, loans are current and receiving full interest payments,” Trump wrote.
“Peekaboo James is a racist who is trying to get money for banks that have no right. She should focus on murder, rape, drugs and other CRIMES that are destroying New York. Rich banks don’t need her help!” the former president continued with his unfounded claims.
Trump has accused James, who is black, of being racist before and said his investigation into his financial affairs is politically motivated.
Mick Mulvaney, one of Trump’s former White House chiefs of staff, made a similar argument about loan repayments on Twitter on Thursday.
“I finally managed to get through NY AG [New York attorney general’s] complaint against Trump,” Mulvaney wrote. “Let me get this straight: the attorney general is suing him for fraud…when he borrowed money…and then paid it back?
“Seriously, who is the victim here? If the banks thought they had been scammed, they could sue on their own,” Mulvaney tweeted.
It’s not clear how successful that argument can be when tested in court. news week has asked the New York attorney general’s office for comment.
Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, suggested Thursday that the lawsuit could cost Trump as much as $1 billion.
Cohen told MSNBC’s Ari Melber: “One of the things you talked about at the beginning is that [James is] looking for $250 million. That is not exact.
“What she said was the baseline of $250 million. Knowing the documents as I do and knowing exactly what fraud was going on, I see the number as somewhere between $750 million and $1 billion,” Cohen said.
Caroline Polisi, a longtime federal defense attorney and legal analyst, told MSNBC joe in the morning Thursday that the lawsuit could be the “death knell” for the Trump Organization.
“The breadth and depth of this complaint, over 200 pages of meticulous facts…this is a document case,” Polisi said.
“Documents don’t lie. Square footage doesn’t lie. You really get the sense that the Trump Organization was more of a fraud scheme with a bit of a legitimate business wrinkled in there at times rather than an actual organization.”