Trump cleared of contempt in New York attorney general’s fraud investigation

A New York judge ruled on Wednesday that Donald Trump was no longer in defiance of not handing over the documents claimed in a subpoena by the state attorney general.

April 25 from former president finding of contempt came after contesting a subpoena in December seeking documents related to his personal finances and the financing of several properties. Trump claimed he had no documents responding to the subpoena, leading Judge and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office to ask his attorneys for a detailed explanation of the case. how they conducted their research.

“While we are delighted that the court has lifted the contempt ruling, we maintain that it was totally unwarranted and improper in the first place,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a text message. “We will continue our appeal for justice for our client.”

Trump was a fine of $10,000 per day until May 6, when his attorneys first filed explanations of their attempts to search for subpoenaed documents. In the weeks that followed, the judge and attorney general demanded affidavits from two dozen Trump Organization employees and lawyers in an attempt to find out how Donald Trump’s namesake company apparently only retained for a decade virtually no record of his namesake’s personal finances.

Almost all employees who filed affidavits described a company that has few concrete policies related to the destruction and retention of documents related to Trump’s personal finances, leaving those decisions to individuals or, in some cases, their bosses. on duty.

These statements largely mirrored what Trump said in his own affidavit, that “it is my practice to delegate records management and retention responsibilities to my executive assistants.”

Executive assistants who filed affidavits said they did not follow any established policy. A former longtime assistant, Rhona Graff, said in a May 31 deposition that she often left such decisions to other people. In affidavits filed June 17, the heads of several departments said that while they had internal document retention policies, they had no policies specific to documents related to Trump himself.

Habba noted in a June 8 letter to the court that “a large number” of documents showing Trump’s ‘handwritten notes’ had been delivered by the Trump Organization. Habba’s letter was accompanied by eight exhibits that include several photos of golf legend Gary Player, on which Trump wrote “Great,” as well as several legal and design documents in which he wrote “OK.” There was also a note from her daughter on a planning document related to a Trump property in Doral, Florida.

In a June 21 filing, a lawyer in James’ office said he supported lifting the contempt finding, not because he was satisfied with the explanations he had received, but “because he is not obvious what else, if any, [Trump] and his attorney may be ordered to do so.

The attorney, Andrew Amer, said Trump would be questioned about company records during a court-ordered swearing-in. submission expected mid-July. Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, recently lost two appeals seeking to block depositions.

“We have all the expectations that [Trump] will be examined under oath next month and will promptly advise the Court if any new information regarding the defendant’s documents is gleaned from this testimony,” Amer wrote, adding that he is still concerned about “the apparent absence in the productions of documents one would expect to see from Mr. Trump regarding his financial disclosures.

James’s office has been conducting an extensive civil fraud investigation into Trump and his company since 2019, and said its investigation had gathered evidence “showing that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefits”. .”

Amer and his colleagues have said in several recent hearings that the investigation is coming to an end.

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