New York authorities summon Trump insurance broker


New York regulators have sent a subpoena to the long-standing insurance broker of the Trump Organization, a request that comes days after former President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen informed Congress that the president misled insurers about the value of his assets.

The brokerage firm, Aon, told the Associated Press Tuesday that she intended to cooperate with the investigation of the New York Department of Financial Services, the agency said. responsible for the regulation of the insurance sector.

Donna Mirandola, a spokeswoman for the brokerage, declined to discuss the details of the application. "We do not comment on specific customer issues," she wrote in an email.

The Financial Services Department declined to comment. The Trump organization did not return any messages requesting comments.

The request for a document comes amidst a series of criminal, civil and parliamentary investigations into the president and his trade relations between several agencies, including two US House committees controlled by Democrats.

A person familiar with the investigation stated that the Department of Financial Services contacted Cohen and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. The person was not allowed to speak publicly about the issue and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The New York Times, which first published the subpoena, said the nine-page summons was aimed at a wide range of documents, but did not mention specific wrongdoings . The newspaper states that the subpoena was intended to search for communications and records regarding Aon's commercial activities with Trump over the past 10 years, as well as Aon's internal contracts and registrations relating to Trump.

In his testimony before the House oversight committee last week, Cohen presented Trump's financial documents over three years. He said Trump had inflated the value of his assets in part to reduce his insurance premiums. He stated that Trump would provide falsified statements to insurers "so that they understand that the premium, which sometimes relies on the individual's ability to pay, would be reduced".

The Trump organization did not comment on the details of Cohen's allegations, but Trump, in several tweets, called his statements to Congress "fraudulent and dishonest".

Experts said Trump would be interested in exaggerating his wealth for certain types of insurance, including bonds. Local governments often require developers to obtain this type of coverage. Thus, in the event of the bankruptcy of the developer, he has reserve money left for the construction of roads and other infrastructure projects promised by the developer.

Another possibility is what is called a "retrospectively rated" insurance policy, which can be used as a near loan to the company buying the cover. With these policies, in case of fire in one of Trump's buildings or compensation claims of a major worker and if an insurer was paying Trump for the losses, Trump would then be held to return to the insurer a portion of this payment in the coming years.

It is not clear if the Trump organization has adopted such policies.

Asked in his testimony about people in the Trump Organization who would be aware of the alleged maneuvers in the insurance business, Cohen mentioned three leaders, including Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who started working for the Trump family forty years ago. The House Intelligence Committee has announced its intention to invite Weisselberg to testify.

The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday its own thorough investigation into "an alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates and members of his administration. ", asking for documents from dozens of people in Trump's entourage and business.

Trump criticized these investigations, launched after Democrats gained control of the House, as groundless and politically motivated.