New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday asked a judge to scorn former President Donald Trump for failing to submit documents related to her investigation into possible fraud in the Trump family’s business dealings.
Since 2019, James has been conducting a civil investigation into the former president and the Trump Organization, and has spent months trying to question the 75-year-old.
In February, a judge ordered Trump and his children Don Jr and Ivanka to be questioned under oath. So far, that decision has been appealed.
But Trump was also ordered to hand over a series of Trump Organization accounting and tax documents, which he has so far failed to do, despite his lawyers saying he would.
“Trump is in violation of the court’s order to hand over these documents to us by March 31,” James’s office said in a statement.
In a memorandum filed with the state’s Supreme Court, James argues that Trump should be civilly despised for violating the warrant.
“Instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it. We are seeking immediate court intervention because no one is above the law,” James said in a statement.
The attorney general is demanding a $10,000 per day fine for each day Trump is unable to produce the documents in question.
A Trump attorney, Alina Habba, told AFP in an email, “We are prepared to adamantly oppose the frivolous and baseless motion filed today by the attorney general’s office.”
In January, James said her investigation had found evidence suggesting the fraudulent valuation of multiple assets and misrepresentation of those values for economic benefit.
One of the assets on the list was Trump’s penthouse in Trump Tower in Manhattan, which was claimed to be three times larger than it actually was, overestimating its value by $200 million.
The Trumps have claimed that James, who was elected to her position and is a member of the Democratic Party, is conducting a politically motivated investigation.
James’ investigation is one of the many legal battles in which the former president is embroiled.
The Trump Organization is also under investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for possible financial crimes and insurance fraud.
Last July, the Trump Organization and its long-serving financial chief, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded not guilty to 15 charges of fraud and tax evasion in a New York court.
His trial will begin in the middle of this year.
Bragg released a statement saying that his criminal investigation was underway, but would not disclose details of its conclusion, as required by law.
Doubts were raised about the future of the investigation following the dismissal of two prosecutors in the case.
“I promise that the Bureau will publicly announce the conclusion of our investigation, whether we end our work without filing charges or proceed with charges,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)