A two-year criminal investigation into the Trump Organization’s valuations of a golf club in Westchester County, New York, has been closed, the county’s district attorney, Miriam Rocah, confirmed Thursday.
“Part of why I’m saying anything at all is that I think it’s really important, more important than ever in our country, to make sure that people understand that we have independent prosecutors, we have a justice system that operates independent of politics,” Rocah, a Democrat, told CBS News after a press conference announcing arrests and other updates in several cold case homicides. “I can stand here and proudly say that I’m one of those prosecutors, and I look at every subject of any investigation, every organization that’s a subject of an investigation, the same way.”
Insider first reported Wednesday that the investigation was closed this month.
Prosecutors in the suburban county, north of New York City, subpoenaed records from the town of Ossining and Trump National Golf Club Westchester, examining efforts by the club to reduce its local tax burden.
The company and town were for years at odds over its annual tax bill. The club claimed its property was worth as much as 90% less than the town’s valuation. In July 2021, the town and the company agreed to a compromise in which Ossining refunded the club about $875,000 and cut the property assessment by close to 30%.
The investigation was led by Elliott Jacobson, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who came out of retirement to serve as special prosecutor for the Westchester D.A. Jacobson told CBS News in May he had been a volunteer working part-time for the office, and concluded his service in November 2022.
While its dispute with the town focused on an effort to reduce the club’s valuation, the club surfaced in a 2022 lawsuit against Trump and his company for the opposite reason. The office of New York Attorney General Letita James alleged in its civil case that Trump inflated the club’s value, as well as other property valuations, in order to overstate his personal net worth.
“At Mr. Trump’s golf course in Westchester, the valuation for 2011 assumed new members would pay an initiation fee of nearly $200,000 for each of the 67 unsold memberships, even though many new members in that year paid no initiation fee at all,” James’ office wrote. “In some instances, Mr. Trump specifically directed club employees to reduce or eliminate the initiation fees to boost membership numbers.”
Trump and the company have vehemently denied all allegations related to the New York attorney general’s case, which is scheduled for an October trial.
Representatives for Trump and the company did not respond to requests for comment.
Other Trump legal cases
The Westchester County investigation’s end represents a rare recent legal win for Trump.
In September 2022, James’ office sued Trump, three of his children and the company, alleging widespread fraud and demanding a raft of sanctions designed to limit for years their ability to do business in New York. In December, two Trump Organization of 17 New York State felony counts related to tax evasion. In April, he was charged in Manhattan with 34 state felony counts of falsification of business records related to an alleged scheme to cover up a “hush money” payment to an adult film star. In May, a federal jury unanimously for sexually abusing and defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll, awarding her $5 million. On Tuesday, Trump was on stemming from special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s retention of classified and top secret documents after he left office.
He has entered not guilty pleas in all the criminal cases, and vehemently denied all allegations. He has also repeatedly accused Smith, James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of targeting him out of political animus, an accusation he has also previously levied against Rocah.
Rocah said Thursday that she hopes “the message that every American should take” in her closing the investigation is that prosecutorial decisions aren’t about politics.
“We do our job independent of politics or any other kinds of personal political affiliations or beliefs, period,” Rocah said.