Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, keeps winning, and Donald Trump keeps losing. This time, it was the recent decision by an appeals court in New York to uphold a past finding of contempt implicating Trump for failing to sufficiently comply with subpoena demands from the state official in her civil investigation into Trump’s business.
“Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump is not above the law,” James said after the ruling. “For years, he tried to stall and thwart our lawful investigation into his financial dealings, but today’s decision sends a clear message that there are consequences for abusing the legal system. We will not be bullied or dissuaded from pursuing justice.”
That investigation in which the subpoena originated is what turned into the $250 million lawsuit James filed, naming the company, Trump, and the most prominent adult children of his among the defendants. That case hinges on accusations of deception in the company’s claims of value for dozens of assets, like a building on Wall Street in Manhattan. The Trump Organization’s claim of value for its holdings on 40 Wall Street inexplicably skyrocketed by hundreds of millions of dollars above the appraisal settled upon in an independent estimate. Behind the finding Trump was in contempt was a failure to provide required details about searches that were ostensibly completed for documents that were covered by the demands James made for evidentiary material.
“The court correctly determined, based on the papers on the motion, that petitioner established by clear and convincing evidence that respondent’s March 31, 2022 response to the subpoena, stating that a diligent search had failed to locate any responsive documents in his possession or custody, without providing any search or document retention policy details as required under the subpoena’s unambiguous instructions, prejudicially violated the lawful, clear mandate of the court, of which he had knowledge,” the appeals judges said in upholding the earlier decision by Judge Arthur Engoron to put the penalties on Trump.
Later on, Trump, Donald Jr., and others on the lawsuit faced additional scrutiny for dubious replies to some of the claims outlined by James. Included among the defenses in the actual case was the idea there was insufficient knowledge to respond when it seemed plainly clear such was available. “Donald J. Trump claims that he lacks sufficient information about the structure of his own companies to answer the Verified Complaint,” a letter to the judge frustratedly noted. Also again present was the already dismissed allegation of actionable political animus motivating James’s actions. The Trumps’ corner evidently agreed to refile their responses, which the judge also criticized in a hearing that covered the concerns from the attorney general’s team. Now, the trial continues approaching.
Donald Trump is not above the law, and there are consequences for abusing the legal system.https://t.co/YS5SIza1Fd
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 18, 2023