Yet another lawsuit has been filed against White House resident and former TV reality show host, Donald Trump, with further allegations of lies and deception regarding his opaque financial status.
Washington D.C. attorney Jeffrey Lovitky filed a case in federal court this week, claiming that Trump’s May 2016 federal financial disclosure is facetious, and intermingled the then-candidate’s personal and business liabilities. The lawsuit claims:
“This action alleges that the financial disclosure report filed by then
candidate Donald Trump on May 16, 2016 failed to specifically identify the
financial liabilities for which he is personally obligated, as required by 5 U.S.C.
App. § 102(a)(4).1…
“The Ethics in Government Act mandates public disclosure of the personal
financial liabilities of candidates for President and Vice-President of the United
“The purpose of these disclosure requirements is to allow members of the
public to make informed judgments as to whether candidates for federal office
have financial conflicts of interests that may impair their ability to faithfully
execute their duties as public servants.”
According to POLITICO, the new lawsuit makes no claims of impropriety; it rests simply on the fact that the disclosure is inaccurate and deprives American citizens of correct information regarding Trump’s indebtedness.
The disclosure, filed with the Office of Government Ethics and required for those running for president, consists of 104 pages. Trump’s debts are covered in one of those pages and list loans that exceed $300 million. Trump’s true indebtedness is known to be much larger based on other data, although the form doesn’t require details about more than $50 million for each loan.
Lovitky spoke to POLITICO, saying:
“Really, the question is concerning the liabilities held by the LLCs and we just need more information to be able to know whether or not those are personal or business liabilities. If you just look at the statement on its face, all those liabilities are assumed to be personal liabilities, but I just do not think that’s the case. I have information that says otherwise.”
Lovitky explained that most of the debt information on Trump’s disclosure was already public record since they typically consisted of mortgages. But according to the lawyer, there is no way to determine who is responsible for the debts if the debtor is listed as a limited liability company (LLC).
Lovitky added that he wrote to Don McGhan, the White House counsel, back in January, asking for Trump to file a corrected disclosure form. He received, unsurprisingly, no reply.
Trump will not be required to file another disclosure form until May 2018, and has not released his tax returns as all other major presidential candidates have done since Nixon, causing more speculation on the true nature of Trump’s finances, particularly any foreign or domestic debt he owes that might influence his priorities in the White House.
Both White House and Trump Organization spokespeople have declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Lovitky said that he has filed the lawsuit because of the concern over conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s dealings:
“It’s mostly the fact that with this president there are very serious concerns about conflicts of interest in this particular administration, and I think it’s important that those concerns be addressed thoroughly.”
Lovitky also told POLITICO that the lawsuit isn’t seeking any damages, only a ruling that Trump’s previous disclosure is illegal and will need to be redone. Lovitky said he hopes Trump will re-file rather than fight the lawsuit.