Ivanka Trump accuses prosecutors investigating her earnings for potential fraud of "harassment"

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The New York Times reported on Thursday that two ongoing fraud investigations by New York city and state attorneys had expanded to including consulting-fee write-offs, some of which appeared to be to Ivanka Trump.

NY authorities investigating the Trump Organization have expanded their inquiries to include tax write-offs involving millions of dollars in consulting fees, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The subpoenas were issued after a Times investigation into decades of Trump's tax records revealed that the president had paid no federal income taxes for years and his company deducted $26 million in questionable consulting fees.

Ivanka Trump reacted to the Times" story Thursday evening, tweeting, "This is harassment pure and simple.

'This "inquiry" by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage. They know very well that there's nothing here and that there was no tax benefit whatsoever.

"These politicians are simply ruthless", Ivanka continued. An earlier Times investigation found that Trump's father implemented a similar legally dubious scheme to pass down his wealth to the president and his siblings.

The civil investigation in NY came after Michael Cohen, once the president's personal lawyer, testified in Congress that the president inflated his assets while seeking loans only to later underreport them while trying to lower his tax burden.


It doesn't appear that Ivanka accounted for the payment improperly, the offices stated.

If true, that wouldn't necessarily pose a problem for Ivanka Trump herself, as long as she paid income tax on the consulting payments, which she reported publicly.

Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor who now serves as a legal analyst for CNN, said it was "ridiculous" that Ivanka Trump was paid consulting fees by "a company she already worked for". While companies can deduct professional fees, the Internal Revenue Service requires that consulting arrangements be market-based and reasonable, as well as "ordinary and necessary" to running a business. Representatives for the Manhattan district attorney, NY attorney general and Trump Organization declined to comment.

The IRS has sometimes rejected attempts to write off consulting fees if they were meant to avoid taxes and did not reflect arm's-length business relationships.

However, it's not clear if the IRS ever questioned the Trump Organization about their write-off practices. Vance's office began the inquiry more than two years ago, initially focusing on the Trump Organization's role in hush money paid during the 2016 presidential campaign to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress who claimed to have had an affair with Trump.

He added, "All applicable taxes were paid, and no party received any undue benefit", general counsel Alan Garten told Times. Neither official was quoted in The New York Times article.

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