New York’s attorney general formally asked a judge on Thursday to hold former President Donald Trump “in contempt of court” and subject him to a $10,000 daily fine for his refusal to turn over evidence, even after he was ordered to by a state judge.
Trump would be subject to the proposed fine every day he does not turn over evidence he’s already been ordered to deliver.
Trump and his family corporate empire are under attack by AG Letitia James, whose probe into the company’s alleged bank fraud has reached a turning point. The company has only a month left to turn over evidence, while Trump and two of his adult children face potential grilling by investigators.
Following a legal clown show on Feb. 17, New York State Judge Arthur F. Engoron ordered the former president, Don Jr., and Ivanka Trump to sit down for sworn testimony for their alleged role in a long-running business fraud scheme. That order is now making its way through the state’s appellate courts.
Importantly, however, the judge also ordered the former president to turn over documents related to his supposedly bogus statements of financial condition—which his own accountants at the firm Mazars USA recently disavowed as completely unreliable.
Trump was also ordered to comply with the Dec. 1 subpoena by turning over “documents and communications” related to his financing of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, planned development of the expansive Seven Springs Estate in upstate New York, and any claims of extravagant wealth he made to Forbes Magazine.
Now the state’s attorney general is asking the judge to increase pressure on Trump for still not turning over those documents. According to James’ office, the evidence was due on March 3 and Trump got an extension he asked for to push that back to the end of March. But as of April 7, investigators still don’t have it in their possession.
A spokesperson for the former president did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Neither did his defense lawyers in this case.
The AG’s long-running investigation—which is limited to a potential civil case against Trump, his executives, and his company—appears to have reached its final stages. The company only has a few more weeks to turn over evidence that investigators asked for three years ago.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on James and her team now that the parallel criminal investigation over at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office seems to be fizzling out. The two top prosecutors, in that case, have quit out of protest over DA Alvin Bragg Jr.’s apparent unwillingness to approve an indictment of the former president, and his office has begun returning evidence to witnesses.