A New York court has ordered the Trump Organization to either fully comply with subpoenas from the office of New York state Attorney General Letitia James or hire a third party to look through its records in search of what James is after. Should the company opt for the latter option, then James must approve of whatever firm that they select to complete the work. As summarized by The Daily Beast, “the Trump Organization agreed that if the NYAG believes the company has not fully complied with its requests—as prosecutors have long complained—the business will hire a firm to go through electronic records belonging to its top executives, including ex-President Donald Trump and his family.”
The issue is in connection to an investigation of the Trump business that James began before she and her office joined forces with Manhattan-area District Attorney Cy Vance, who had been conducting a criminal investigation of the Trump family company that has since resulted in criminal charges against the firm and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. Those charges relate to a years-long scheme to shield high-dollar benefits at the company from taxes, and these benefits included luxury cars for Allen and his wife, apartment space in Manhattan, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition payments for Allen’s grandchildren. James had previously been investigating whether the Trump company artificially adjusted valuations of its properties to obtain benefits like tax breaks.
James lauded the new court order demanding the Trump team’s compliance with subpoenas, which was filed earlier this month, on September 3, but was then sealed until more recently. As she put it:
‘For more than a year now, the Trump Organization has failed to adequately respond to our subpoenas, hiding behind procedural delays and excuses. Once again, the court has ordered that the Trump Organization must turn over the information and documents we are seeking, otherwise face an independent third-party that will ensure that takes place. Our work will continue undeterred because no one is above the law.’
Going forward, the Trump company is required to explain in writing what steps it has undertaken to comply with the subpoenas by September 30, and if at that point, James finds documents to still be missing, then the company will have two weeks to bring on that third party. Meanwhile, other investigative efforts targeting Trump World also remain ongoing. Weisselberg attorney Brian C. Skarlatos said this week that he has “strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming.”