Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr subpoenaed by New York's attorney general

Officials are looking into whether Trump Organisation misled banks or tax officials

Former president Donald Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Jr. The Trumps are expected to file court papers seeking to quash the subpoenas. AP

New York Attorney General Letitia James recently subpoenaed former president Donald Trump and his two eldest children, demanding they give evidence in connection with a continuing civil investigation into the family’s business practices, a court filing made public on Monday showed.

The subpoenas for Mr Trump, his son, Donald Trump Jr, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, stem from an investigation “into the valuation of properties owned or controlled” by the former president and his company, the Trump Organisation, the filing said.

Messages seeking comment were left with lawyers for the Trumps and Ms James's office.

The attorney general's attempt to have the former president give evidence was reported in December, but Monday's court filing was the first public disclosure that investigators were also seeking information from Ms Trump and the younger Mr Trump.

The Trumps are expected to file court papers seeking to quash the subpoenas, setting up a legal fight similar to one that played out last year after Ms James's office subpoenaed another Trump son.

The elder Mr Trump sued Ms James last month, seeking to end the investigation after she requested that he sit for a January 7 deposition. His lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that the probe has violated his constitutional rights in a “thinly veiled effort to publicly malign [Mr] Trump and his associates".

Monday's court filing was the office of the attorney general's first public acknowledgement that it has previously subpoenaed Mr Trump's evidence.

Ms James, a Democrat, has spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organisation misled banks or tax officials about the value of assets — inflating them to gain favourable loan terms or minimising them to reap tax savings.

The attorney general's investigators last year interviewed one of Mr Trump’s sons, Trump Organisation executive Eric Trump, as part of the probe. Her office went to court to enforce a subpoena on the younger Mr Trump and a judge forced him to give evidence after his lawyers abruptly cancelled a previously scheduled deposition.

Although the civil investigation is separate from a criminal investigation being run by the Manhattan district attorney's office, Ms James’s office has been involved in both. This year, former district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr gained access to the long-time real estate mogul’s tax records after a multiyear fight that twice went to the US Supreme Court.

Before he left office at the end of last year, Mr Vance convened a new grand jury to hear evidence as he weighed whether to seek more indictments in the investigation, which resulted in tax fraud charges in July against the Trump Organisation and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Mr Weisselberg pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he and the company evaded taxes on lucrative fringe benefits paid to executives.

Both investigations are at least partly related to allegations made in news reports and by Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, that he had a history of misrepresenting the value of assets.

Updated: January 3rd 2022, 7:43 PM