President Donald Trump's two eldest children, Donald Trump Jr. and current White House adviser Ivanka Trump, reportedly came close to being indicted for felony fraud and larceny in 2012 for allegedly misleading buyers of a Trump property. New details reveal that the case was resolved shortly after a Trump family attorney met with the Manhattan District Attorney whose campaign he had donated to.
On Oct. 4, 20 sources familiar with the investigation who requested anonymity disclosed that both Ivanka and Trump Jr. were investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney's office for two years for allegedly lying to prospective buyers about the number of units sold for the Trump SoHo in Manhattan, New York, ProPublica reports.
In June 2006, the president opened the Trump SoHo and charged his two eldest children with running the property. In June 2008, Ivanka publicly announced that they had sold 60 percent of the building's units. Court documents filed in March 2010 revealed that the Trumps had only sold 15.8 percent of the property's units two years after Ivanka's statement.
In August 2010, several Trump SoHo buyers filed lawsuits against the Trump Organization alleging that the two Trump scions had lied to them about the number of units sold and, by extension, the value of the units they bought. The Manhattan district attorney's office opened a probe into the matter.
A source familiar with the investigation disclosed that email correspondence between Ivanka, Trump Jr. and other members of the Trump Organization indicated that they "intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales. ... They knew it was wrong."
The state probe lasted for nearly two years. Ivanka and Trump Jr.'s attorneys reportedly argued that they had been misleading to buyers but that they had not committed any crime. Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, joined his children's legal defense team and privately met with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. in May 2012. Kasowitz had donated $25,000 to Vance's re-election campaign in January 2012.
In August 2012, Vance told prosecutors in his office who were probing the Trumps to drop the case. Asked to comment on the timeline, Vance noted that he returned Kasowitz's campaign donation before meeting with him.
"I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call," Vance said.
Kasowitz stated: "I have never made a contribution to anyone's campaign, including Cy Vance's, as a 'quid-pro-quo' for anything."
In September 2012, Kasowitz donated $32,000 to Vance's re-election campaign and helped raise an additional $18,000 in donations.
The Trump SoHo foreclosed in 2014, having sold only 33 percent of its units. Trump Jr. currently runs the Trump Organization in his father's stead while Ivanka serves as a special adviser to the president.
Neither Ivanka or Trump Jr. have offered a comment on the new details of the 2012 investigation. On Oct. 14, Trump took to Twitter to blast media reports, although it was unclear if he was referring to the Trump SoHo report.
"Wow, so many Fake News stories today," the president tweeted out. "No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control!"