New York’s attorney general has opened a civil investigation into Donald Trump’s business dealings, taking action after his former lawyer told Congress he exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans.

A source said Letitia James issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank seeking records related to four Trump property projects and his failed 2014 bid to buy the Buffalo Bills American football club.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress in late February that the president exaggerated his wealth on financial statements provided to Deutsche Bank when he was trying to obtain financing to buy the Bills.

Mr Cohen told a House committee it was common for Mr Trump to overstate his wealth when dealing with the news media or banks, but understate it when it came time to pay his taxes.

The subpoenas issued by the attorney general seek loan applications, as well as mortgages, credit lines and other documents related to the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, buildings in Chicago and New York and a golf course in the Miami area.

Ms James, a Democrat newly elected to office, pledged to look into his business practices, saying after her victory in November that she would be “shining a bright light into every dark corner of his real estate dealings and every dealing”.

Mr Trump has complained that she is waging a politically motivated vendetta against him. Her office is also overseeing a lawsuit against a Trump charitable foundation.

Her predecessors sued Mr Trump over the operations of Trump University, his property school.

Previously, a different New York state agency, which regulates insurance companies, launched an inquiry into Cohen’s allegations that Mr Trump also misled insurance companies about his financial worth.

Mr Trump has said Cohen is lying to try to get out of a prison sentence for tax evasion, campaign finance violations, making false statements to banks and lying to Congress.


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