Judge acquits Trump of contempt in New York Attorney General’s fraud investigation

A New York judge ruled on Wednesday that Donald Trump no longer has contempt for… unable to hand over documents demanded in a subpoena by the state attorney general.

April 25 of the former president find contempt came after he challenged a December subpoena seeking records related to his personal finances and the financing of various properties. Trump claimed he had no material responding to the subpoena, leading to demands from the judge and the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James that his lawyers provide detailed explanations of how they conducted their search.

“While we are pleased that the court lifted the finding of contempt, we continue to maintain that it was totally unjustified and inappropriate in the first place,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a text message. “We will continue our call to ensure justice for our client.”

Trump was $10,000 per day fine through May 6, when his lawyers first explained their efforts to search for subpoenaed documents. In the weeks that followed, the judge and attorney general demanded affidavits from two dozen Trump Organization employees and attorneys in an effort to find out how Donald Trump’s eponymous company has apparently kept almost no records of the Trump administration for a decade. his namesake’s personal finances.

Nearly all employees who filed affidavits described a company that has few concrete policies regarding the destruction and retention of records related to Trump’s personal finances, leaving such decisions to individuals, or in certain cases, their department heads. .

Those statements largely mirrored what Trump said in his own affidavit that “it is my usual practice to delegate responsibilities for handling and preserving documents to my executive assistants.”

Executive assistants who submitted affidavits said they followed no set policy. An old former assistant, Rhona Graff, said in a statement dated May 31 that she often left such decisions to other people. In affidavits filed on June 17, heads of several departments said that while they had internal records retention policies, they did not have specific policies for documents pertaining to Trump himself.

Habba noted in a June 8 letter to the court that “a large number” of documents show that… Trump’s “Handwritten Notes” was handed over by the Trump Organization. Habba’s letter was accompanied by eight exhibits featuring several photos of golfing legend Gary Player, on which Trump had written “Great,” as well as several legal and draft documents in which he wrote “OK.” There was also a note from his daughter about a planning document related to a Trump property in Doral, Florida.

In a filing on June 21, an attorney from James’s office said it was supporting the lifting of the contempt not because it was pleased with the explanation it was given, but “because it’s not clear what else, if something is, [Trump] and his counsel may be commanded to do.”

Attorney Andrew Amer said Trump will be asked for company details during a sworn sworn in. deposition planned for mid-July† Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, recently lost two appeals to block the statements.

“We have every expectation that [Trump] will be heard under oath next month and will promptly notify the Court if that testimony reveals any new information about Defendant’s documents,” Amer wrote, adding that he remains concerned about “the apparent absence in the production of documents one would expect to see from Mr. Trump regarding his statements of financial condition.”

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

Amer and his colleagues have said in multiple recent hearings that the investigation is nearing its end.

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