NY Attorney General Strikes Again With Legal Notice To Trump WH

0
1200

New York state Attorney General Letitia James (D), who is conducting a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices over potential financial misconduct, said on Wednesday that she’d written “a letter to the White House today to remind the Trump administration that it must preserve and maintain all presidential records.” Under the law, she added, “every bit of this information belongs to the American people, and this president and the White House cannot deprive them of it.” Some observers have raised concerns about potential record destruction on the Trump administration’s way out of power.

Earlier this month, plaintiffs including the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Trump administration, alleging that a policy allowing screenshots forwarded from personal accounts to function as official records is insufficient because of leaving out “metadata, attachments, functionality, or other digital artifacts needed to authenticate the message,” which the plaintiffs allege violates the demand in the Presidential Records Act for a “complete record.”

The lawsuit read, in part, as follows:

‘With the approaching onset of a new president, much public attention has focused on the likelihood that President Trump, or White House personnel acting at his behest, will destroy records of his presidency before he leaves office, fearing the consequences to him and his legacy should they become public. With President Trump’s term in office soon coming to an end, absent judicial intervention this conduct will permanently deprive Plaintiffs and the public of records documenting a critical part of our nation’s history.’

In her own investigative work, James scored a significant victory this week when New York Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the Trump Organization to hand over records of all communications with engineer Ralph Mastromonaco, who worked on the Trump family business’s Seven Springs property in New York. James’s office is investigating a potential inflation of the valuation for a conservation easement on the property that provided a tax boon for the Trump Organization. After Engoron’s recent ruling, James said that her office “will immediately move to ensure that the Trump Organization complies with the court’s order and submits records related to our investigation.”

As part of her investigation, Eric Trump — the president’s son — recently sat for a deposition after failing in his bid to get the deposition delayed until after Election Day.