Decide clears Trump of contempt in New York legal professional common’s fraud investigation

A New York judge ruled Wednesday that Donald Trump is no longer contemptuous do not turn over the document the state attorney general requested a subpoena.

April 25 of the former president contempt came after he disputed a December subpoena to seek records relating to his personal finances and the finances of several properties. Trump claimed he had no documents to respond to the subpoena, leading the judge and New York Attorney General’s office Letitia James to ask his attorneys to provide detailed explanations of how they conducted the search. review.

“While we are pleased that the court lifted the contempt finding, we assert that it was completely baseless and unwarranted from the outset,” said Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney. know in a message. “We will advance our appeal to ensure justice for our client.”

Trump is fined $10,000 per day until May 6, when his attorneys first filed explanations about the effort to find the subpoenaed documents. In the weeks since, the judge and attorney general have ordered two dozen Trump Organization employees and attorneys to take oaths in an effort to find out if Donald Trump’s eponymous company for a decade has barely kept traffic. keep any records of the personal finances of the company of the same name.

Nearly all employees who filed the affidavit describe a company that has few specific policies regarding the destruction and retention of documents related to Trump’s personal finances, leaving decisions the same for individuals or in certain cases their department heads.

Those statements largely reflect what Trump said in his own affidavit, that “it is my practice to delegate the responsibility of document handling and retention to my executive aides.”

The executive assistants filed affidavits stating they did not follow any of the established policies. A longtime former assistant, Rhona Graff, said in a deposition May 31 that she often leaves such decisions to others. In the affidavit filed on June 17, the heads of several departments said that although they have internal document retention policies, they do not have any specific policies for related documents. to Trump himself.

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba noted in a June 8 letter to the court that “a large number” of documents show Trump’s “Handwritten Notes” was debunked by the Trump Organization. Habba’s letter was accompanied by eight exhibits including several photographs of golf legend Gary Player, on which Trump wrote “Fantastic,” as well as several legal and design documents in which he wrote. “OK.” There was also a note from his daughter about a zoning document regarding the Trump property in Doral, Florida.

In a June 21 filing, an attorney for James’s office said they support the dismissal of the contempt finding, not because they are satisfied with the explanations they received, but because ” it is not clear what else, if any, [Trump] and his advice may be commanded to do. “

Attorney, Andrew Amer, points out that Trump will be asked about company records during court-ordered swearing-in expected to settle in mid-July. Trump and his two children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, recently lost two appeals seeking to block the deposits.

“We have every expectation that [Trump] will be under oath review next month and will notify the Court immediately if new information regarding Defendant’s documents is obtained from that testimony,” Amer wrote, adding that he remains concerned about” the apparent absence of the delivery of the material one is expected to see. from Mr. Trump regarding his Financial Status Report. “

James’s office has since 2019 been conducting a wide-ranging civil fraud investigation against Trump and his company, and said its investigation has gathered evidence “that Donald J. . Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic gain.”

Amer and his colleagues have said in recent hearings that the investigation is nearing a conclusion.

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