NY AG asks judge to hold Trump in contempt

(The Hill) — New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Thursday asked a state judge to hold former President Donald Trump in civil contempt over his failure to comply with a court order requiring him to hand over documents as part of an ongoing civil investigation by James’s office.

James, in a 21-page filing, also requested that Judge Arthur Engoron fine the former president $10,000 for each day he fails to produce the documents amid James’s ongoing probe of whether the Trump Organization unlawfully falsified the value of assets for financial gain.

The latest development comes after Engoron gave Trump a March 31 deadline to comply with the New York attorney general’s subpoena for records and ordered the former president and his two eldest children to comply with subpoenas for their testimony. 

Trump is appealing the order granting the attorney general’s request for testimony. But in James’s filing on Thursday, she argued Trump has failed to appeal or otherwise properly contest the order for document production.

“Mr. Trump should now be held in civil contempt and fined in an amount sufficient to coerce his compliance with the Court’s order and compensate (Office of Attorney General) for its fees and costs associated with this motion,” James’s motion reads.

The former president and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

James’s office in January said it had uncovered “significant” evidence that the Trump Organization has for years been falsifying the value of its assets for financial gain, including to win tax breaks and attract investors.

That revelation came as Trump fought to block her efforts in both state and federal court while painting the investigation as a political witch hunt in the media.

Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, said in a letter sent to the former president’s company in February that it could no longer vouch for the business’s financial statements for the past decade given the revelations from the attorney general’s investigation.

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