N.Y. Attorney General Asks Court To Hold Trump In Contempt, Fine Him $10,000 A Day Until He Turns Over Records


New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge on Thursday to hold former President Donald Trump in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a subpoena in her investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices—and to fine him $10,000 per day until he turns over the documents.

Key Facts

The attorney general’s office wrote in a motion that Trump “did not comply at all” with a court order to turn over documents requested in the subpoena by March 31.

New York State Judge Arthur F. Engoron ordered Trump in February to comply with James’ subpoena, and also required Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to testify as part of the subpoena.

James said in a statement Trump evaded a “crystal clear” order to “comply with our subpoena and turn over relevant documents to my office.”

Chief Critic

A Trump Organization spokesperson said in a statement to Forbes the motion was “completely baseless.” “President Trump left the Trump Organization in 2017 and any responsive documents were previously provided to the AG by The Trump Organization,” the spokesperson said. “This is just more harassment and the latest chapter in the AG’s continued witch hunt.”

Key Background

James began the investigation after Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 that Trump and his company lied about the value of assets for financial gain. James’ probe has centered on whether Trump overvalued his assets to secure loans, while undervaluing them to save on his tax bill. James wrote in a separate court filing last month that the Trump Organization had misstated asset valuations for over a decade, and included an example of financial statements from 2012 to 2016 that listed Trump’s triplex apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan as more than 30,000 square feet and “valued the apartment at up to $327 million based on those dimensions.” But the company’s 2017 statement “slashed the apartment’s value by two-thirds, sizing the residence at just under 11,000 square feet,” according to the filing.

Crucial Quote

“This court’s order was not an opening bid for a negotiation or an invitation for a new round of challenges to the subpoena,” New York Attorney General’s office lawyers wrote in the filing. “The ship has long since sailed on Mr. Trump’s ability to raise any such objections.”

Further Reading

Trump And His Children Must Testify In New York AG’s Trump Organization Probe, Judge Rules (Forbes)

Trump Organization Misstated Asset Valuations For Over A Decade, New York Attorney General Says (Forbes)

Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump Subpoenaed By New York Attorney General (Forbes)