- NY AG Letitia James says she’ll agree to the lifting of a contempt-of-court order against Donald Trump.
- The order has cost Trump $110,000 in court-imposed fines for failing to fully comply with her subpoena for his documents.
- James promised to pursue lingering “concerns” over how few business documents Trump has turned over.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said Tuesday that she will agree to the lifting of a contempt-of-court order against former President Donald Trump, according to a new court filing.
The order has cost the former president $110,000 in court-ordered fines — his penalty for failing to fully comply with James’ subpoenas for his personal business documents.
But James’ office — which is winding down a 3-year probe into Trump’s hotel and golf resort business — has now reached an impasse over “what else, if anything,” can be done to force Trump to turn over more documents or more fully explain why so few have been turned over, the filing says.
The Manhattan-based Trump Organization has submitted some 900,000 documents, totaling 6 million pages, in compliance with James’ subpoenas. But only 10 of those documents — about 500 pages — were so-called Trump “custodial” documents bearing his directives or approvals, the AG has complained.
The lack of Trump personal documents has been a major sticking point.
Multiple Trump employees have testified under subpoena before the AG’s office, and have said that the computer-averse Trump routinely used hand-written orders — directives or approvals written either directly on documents or on Post-it Notes — in running his business.
James’ office continues to have “separate concerns” over how few of Trump’s documents have been turned over in response to James’ subpoenas, the filing says, warning, “that is something the [Office of the Attorney General] will address with the Court separately.”
“We are prepared to agree” to the order being lifted, “because it is not apparent what else, if anything, [Trump] and his counsel can be ordered to do right now that would shed any additional light on the retention or destruction of [Trump’s] documents,” AG Special Counsel Andrew Amer wrote in the filing.
The Manhattan judge who presides over the AG’s investigation, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, has yet to set a court date for the potential lifting of the contempt order.
A $110,000 check that Trump has given to James’ office is being held in escrow while Trump appeals the contempt of court order.
His attorney, Alina Habba, has repeatedly insisted that her client and his business have no more documents to turn over, and that a continuance of the contempt order — which carried the threat of hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional fines — was unfair.
Habba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The AG is probing what her office has called a pattern of Trump inflating or deflating the values of his properties in order to pocket hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and loans over the past decade. Trump has denied wrongdoing at his business and has called the investigation a politically-biased “witch hunt.”