New York State Goes After Trump For $10,000 In Daily Fines


New York state Attorney General Letitia James is continuing to push for former President Donald Trump to be held in contempt of court and fined $10,000 a day as long as his side’s failure to comply with a subpoena from James continues. James’s side issued that subpoena in connection to her ongoing civil investigation of the Trump family business; the investigation has focused on issues including the company’s apparent deceptive adjustments to valuations of its assets. Higher valuations for potential lenders would have been poised to help the company obtain more favorable loan terms because they seemed financially better off, while lower valuations for tax authorities could have meant lower bills.

Now, James’s team has presented a new filing urging a judge to “coerce” Trump into complying with the subpoena at issue, insisting: “The Court should put an end to Mr. Trump’s intransigence and subterfuge.” The subpoena covers three of Trump’s mobile devices — including two personal phones and a third issued by his company — along with numerous specific document storage locations. Investigators have identified some of the items they’re hoping to examine as including “the files located in cabinets outside Mr. Trump’s office,” “the storage room by Mr. Trump’s office,” “the Executive Office storage closet,” and “the file cabinets located on the 25th and 26th floors.” (That last location would presumably refer to Manhattan’s Trump Tower.) The former president has attempted to leave the responsibility for complying with James’s subpoena to his company, but James’s side pushed back on that argument in recent statements as well. A hearing on James’s request for Trump to be held in contempt is set for Monday.

The investigation behind these developments is civil in nature, meaning it’s not set up to lead to any criminal charges, even in the event of violations being uncovered. But, James and her team could opt to bring a lawsuit over misconduct on the Trump Organization’s part, and considering that she’s already concluded that available evidence indicates “that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit,” it might be safe to suspect that this whole matter will end up leading to that lawsuit. Recently, Trump issued a bizarre statement targeting James around the time of the Easter holiday, ranting: “Happy Easter to… Letitia James. May she remain healthy despite the fact that she will continue to drive business out of New York while at the same time keeping crime, death, and destruction in New York!” Following that diatribe and other rhetoric from Trump, James’s communications director said: “[This] attorney general will not be bullied or intimidated by the former president… Attorney General James will continue to follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead.”