An ongoing fraud investigation in New York could "take an economic wrecking ball" to former president Donald Trump's company, according to one legal analyst.
Tristan Snell, a former assistant attorney general in New York, appeared on MSNBC on Thursday to discuss a report that the state AG's office is seeking a Jan. 7 deposition from the former president as part of its civil investigation into potential fraud inside the Trump Organization.
Snell said he believes the report suggests that someone from Trump's company is cooperating with the AG's office and testifying against him.
However, Snell added that he believes the backbone of the case is the evidence contained in documents. He pointed to a recent report from the Washington Post showing that the Trump Organization reported the value of one of its properties to lenders as $527 million, a few months before telling tax authorities it was worth only $16.7 million.
"That is a 3,300 percent disparity between what they reported to a lender and what they reported to the tax authorities," Snell said. "These numbers really speak for themselves. Donald Trump didn't need anyone to snitch on him. He snitched on himself with how broad of a disparity that was."
Snell went on to say that many people have been "sleeping" on the civil investigation because they want to see Trump go to prison on criminal charges.
"However, this could take an economic wrecking ball to the Trump Organization," he said. "This could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes, penalties, other fees that he could have to pay to the state as well as to the lenders that he defrauded, so this could be ruinous for him financially."
Snell said the New York AG's civil investigation — along with a separate criminal probe led by the Manhattan district attorney — could end up being a "one-two punch" for the former president. He added that the AG's request for a deposition suggests the civil case is "really far along."
"We wouldn't bring in somebody for this kind of testimony — 90 percent-plus of this case is already built," Snell said. "Trump's going to get it from both directions on this one."