An attorney for Donald Trump responded Tuesday to an attempt by New York Attorney General Letitia James to hold the former president in contemptclaiming that he does not have the documents required by James.
James’ office asked a state judge on April 7 to issue a contempt order against Trump, saying he failed to comply with an earlier ruling requiring him to turn over documents by March 31 as part of an investigation into Trump’s practices. financials of your company.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a filing Tuesday night that Trump’s team attempted to comply with the subpoena but determined that it was not in possession of any of the documents requested by the attorney general. Habba wrote that she informed the attorney general’s office that Trump’s namesake company may have the documents they are seeking, which include personal financial statements, tax audit materials and insurance-related documents.
“While this result may be to (the attorney general’s) dissatisfaction, the fact remains that a diligent search was conducted and (Trump) was found not to be in possession of any of the requested documents,” Habba wrote.
James’ office has also requested that Trump be fined $10,000 a day until he complies with the ruling. Habba called the proposed fine “excessive” in Tuesday’s filing.
In its April 7 filing, James’ office also accused the Trump Organization of “restraining” an outside company tasked with making discovery in the case.
Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, received the order on February 17, appear for statements in James’ long running civil fraud investigation. They appealed the subpoena, but at the time they did not challenge a separate part of that ruling ordering Trump to serve a subpoena “seeking documents and information.”
The judge ordered Trump to comply with the demand for documents and information by March 3 and then extended that deadline to March 31, a date agreed upon by both sides at the time, according to court documents.
James’ office did not immediately return a request for comment. On April 7, he said in a statement that “instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it.”
James’ office said in a February news release that its extensive investigation has collected evidence “demonstrating that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements for financial gain.” The initial focus of the investigation was on whether the Trump Organization inflated asset valuations while seeking loans and insurance coverage, and written down their value to reduce tax liability.
James’ investigation was cited by accounting firm Mazars USA in a letter dated February 9. retraction of a decade of financial statements compiled for the Trump Organization. As part of his investigation, James’s office is also seeking information from a second accounting firm that worked for Trump’s company, RSM US LLP.
On April 8, James’ office filed a motion to compel real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoenas related to appraisal work done on various Trump properties. A company spokesperson said in an April 11 statement to CBS News that “any suggestion that Cushman & Wakefield has not responded in good faith to the Attorney General’s investigation is fundamentally false.”
Trump and his company have repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing. He called the investigation “unconstitutional” in a December 20 phone call with CBS News, and referred to himself as “an injured and innocent party”. That day, Trump filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the James investigation.
Jame’s investigation ran parallel to a separate criminal investigation led by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. That investigation, which on July 1, 2021 led to charges against the Trump Organization and its CFOseems stagnant.
Two top prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, resigned in February, less than two months after newly elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg took office, replacing Cyrus Vance Jr., who launched the investigation in August. 2018. At Pomerantz’s resignation letterpublished in The New York Times, Pomerantz wrote that Vance “concluded that the facts warranted prosecution” but that Bragg had “made the decision … not to press criminal charges at this time.”
Bragg said in a statement Thursday that the investigation “continues” and that its investigators and prosecutors are “exploring previously unexplored evidence.”