NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump says he’s now turned over to New York Attorney General Letitia James all the evidence he needs to — and shouldn’t be held in contempt of court.
Trump is fighting James’ request he be found in contempt and slapped with $10,000 daily fines for blowing a March 31 deadline to respond to outstanding subpoenas tied to her civil probe into his business practices.
In a new filing late Tuesday, Trump lawyer Alina Habba argued any remaining evidence is in the possession of the Trump Organization — not Trump himself — and slammed James’ contempt motion as attention-seeking.
“(In) an effort to turn this matter into a public spectacle, (James) proceeded to file the instant motion without warning and not surprisingly, simultaneously issued a press release denouncing” Trump’s compliance in the case, Habba wrote.
Habba said in a text to the New York Daily News on Wednesday that James’ legal effort was “nothing more than a cheap ploy to win political points” and insisted Trump had fully complied with the subpoenas.
The AG’s office declined to comment. James has said Trump agreed to provide the documents in question but changed his tune after getting the deadline pushed back.
In March, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered lawyers for the Trump Organization to respond to all outstanding demands for documents from James’ office by April 15. Lawyers for the AG say they are facing a deadline tied to the statute of limitations on certain legal claims.
James’ three-year probe could result in a civil lawsuit against Trump’s company. She’s examining whether the former president and other executives systematically lied to the IRS, banks, and insurance companies about the value of Trump Organization buildings to obtain favorable loans and tax breaks.
In court papers, the AG’s office says it has evidence the company engaged in “fraudulent and misleading” business practices and that Trump, his company, and his adult children were “closely involved in the transactions in question.”
Engoron gave James the green light in February to depose Trump and his kids, which they are appealing.
According to recent filings, the AG also wants to question a real estate company the Trump Organization contracted to do appraisals, Cushman and Wakefield, and a second accounting firm, RSM.
Trump’s former accounting firm, Mazars USA, said on Feb. 14 it would no longer work for him or his company, finding it could no longer rely on his “statements of financial condition.”
A parallel criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney is examining much of the same alleged conduct. Its lead prosecutors resigned in February, with one writing that he believed Trump was guilty of multiple felonies in his resignation letter.
DA Alvin Bragg has insisted the probe is ongoing and could still result in charges against Trump.
Trump has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. He has described James’ and Bragg’s investigations as a “witch hunt.”