New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a motion on Thursday to hold former President Donald Trump in contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena in the state’s civil investigation into the ex-president’s real estate empire.
James is also asking for a hefty fine of $10,000 for each day Trump does not hand over documents that a court ordered him to produce in order to ‘coerce his compliance.’
‘The judge’s order was crystal clear: Donald J. Trump must comply with our subpoena and turn over relevant documents to my office,’ James said in a statement.
‘Instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it. We are seeking the court’s immediate intervention because no one is above the law.’
In the Thursday court filing, obtained by DailyMail.com, James’ team is indirectly casting doubt on Trump’s assertion that he cannot ‘find’ the eight documents she is requesting, which he agreed to turn over by March 31.
She accused him of ‘more delay and obfuscation’ in his excuses for not handing in the documents in question, arguing the daily increasing fine is necessary to ‘compensate’ her office ‘for its fees and costs associated with this motion.’
Her office is investigating the Trump Organization for allegedly using false or misleading information to obtain loans and secure deals — a practice she previously claimed went on for at least a decade.
She subpoenaed him and two of his adult children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., in December. James has been seeking a deposition from all three.
Attorney General Letitia James asserts that Trump’s claims of not being able to ‘find’ the eight documents she has requested seem dubious in the court filing obtained by DailyMail.com
The trio sought to block the subpoena, claiming that James was motivated by ‘political animus’ as well as other grounds, but in February a judge quashed the effort and ordered the ex-president to ‘comply in full’ by not only testifying but also producing a tranche of documents New York prosecutors have asked for in the probe.
The ex-president was ordered to produce those documents by March 3 but was granted an extension to the end of March by James’ office.
James’ Thursday court filing accuses Trump of failing to meet that deadline.
As recently as March 21, the family has continued to try to fight James’ efforts to grill them under oath.
However, that appeal exclusively referred to the in-person testimony and did not extend to the requested documents.
In the Thursday court filing, James’ team accuses Trump of ‘raising objections to each of the eight document requests in the subpoena based on grounds such as overbreadth, burden, and lack of particularity.’
‘Mr. Trump further asserted, subject to his objections, that he would not produce any documents responsive to OAG’s subpoena because his counsel (based on search efforts that have not been divulged) could not find any such documents,’ the filing states.
‘And because of his counsel’s “information and belief” that if any such documents exist, the Trump Organization has them and OAG will just have to wait until the Trump Organization completes its production to get them.’
James accused Trump of treating the March 31 document deadline as an ‘opening bid for a negotiation’ and an ‘invitation for a new round of challenges’ to her team’s subpoena.
Last month, New York state prosecutors filed a motion alleging there is ‘significant evidence’ the Trump Organization relied on misleading financial statements to ‘secure economic benefits’ like tax breaks and loans for a decade.
James also challenged the Trumps’ claims that her probe was a ‘product of political animus.’
She insisted it was based on mounting evidence that the ex-president, along with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, played central roles in the tax fraud allegedly conducted by their family business.
James said her probe ‘began after a corporate insider gave sworn testimony that the Trump Organization had engaged in widespread fraud.’
Prosecutors also claimed Trump, Don Jr. and Ivanka ‘were closely involved in the preparation’ of financial documents and ‘negotiated major transactions in which the Statements were used’ despite having ‘information that conflicted with the asset values appearing in the Statements.’
Prosecutors in James’ ongoing civil probe allege that ‘at various points, appellants Mr. Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., personally certified’ financial statements they knew to be misleading, and ‘appellant Ivanka Trump used the valuations to negotiate several major transactions’ involving a Florida golf course and hotels in Washington, DC and Chicago
Of those statements, they alleged: ‘At various points, appellants Mr. Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., personally certified these valuations’ accuracy, and appellant Ivanka Trump used the valuations to negotiate several major transactions.’
‘So far, the investigation has uncovered significant evidence potentially indicating that, for more than a decade, these financial statements relied on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure economic benefits—including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions—on terms more favorable than the true facts warranted,’ the March 28 court filing stated.
The 82-page document also revealed new details about why exactly James’ team wants to speak with Trump and both adult children.
The ex-president ‘personally certified the accuracy of the Statements for the years prior to 2016’ and ‘was also involved in reviewing draft statements and preparing asset valuations.’
His oldest son Don Jr. ‘was responsible for the Statements for the years 2016 to 2020,’ prosecutors said, when Trump was in the White House.
James’ office also claims Don Jr. ‘personally certified’ financial statements on his father’s behalf in order to obtain loans from 2016 through 2019, even as he ‘received detailed analyses of business segments in the Trump portfolio’ that cast doubt on some of the statements’ veracity.
Ivanka had an option to purchase the Park Avenue apartment for $8.5 million, according to the court order seeking testimony filed by the AG’s office, after leasing it on ‘extraordinarily favorable terms’. Ivanka is seen in the apartment with two of her kids
Ivanka then ‘was directly involved in certain financial transactions that rested on the potential misrepresentations in the Statements.’
She allegedly negotiated loans from Deutsche Bank for a golf course in Florida and hotels in Chicago and Washington, DC that relied on statements signed by her father.
All the while, prosecutors stated, Ivanka was aware of data that ‘would have produced a lower value for certain properties’ than those financial documents indicated.
James’ probe had been running parallel to a criminal investigation that had been started by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
That investigation, however, was revealed to have grinded to a halt after two top prosecutors leading the case, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz, stepped down after new District Attorney Alvin Bragg apparently raised ‘serious doubts’ about it.
Bragg’s office told CBS recently that his office is still looking into the matter.
James’ probe was sparked by Congressional testimony from Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who alleged his old boss’s company engaged in fraudulent business practices from at least 2010.