New York Attorney General Letitia James says the contempt order is necessary because of “Trump’s intransigence”

New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge on Friday to “coerce” former President Donald Trump into serving a subpoena demanding searches of three of his mobile devices and several document storage sites.

Trump missed the March 31 court-ordered deadline to deliver the subpoenaed material, claiming he did not have any of the documents required by James’ office as part of its investigation into his company’s financial practices. A week later, James asked the judge overseeing his office’s investigation to issue a contempt citation and fine Trump $10,000 a day until he complied with the subpoena.

“The Court should put an end to Trump’s intransigence and subterfuge,” wrote the lawyers working for James in Friday night’s lawsuit.

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a tuesday filing that Trump’s eponymous company may have the documents being sought, but Trump himself does not.

The attorney general said on Friday that Trump cannot “pass” responsibility for complying with the subpoena to his company.

Investigators identified but did not receive subpoenaed data from three mobile devices belonging to Trump, two of which are personal and one of which is a company-issued phone, according to the filing. They are also waiting for documents from specific Trump Organization locations, such as “the files located in lockers outside of Mr Trump’s office”, “Mr Trump’s office warehouse”, “the Executive Office storage locker” and “the file cabinets located on the 25th and 26th floors.”

Trump and two of his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, were ordained Feb. show up for testimonials in James’ long-running civil fraud investigation. They appealed the order to appear but did not contest a separate part of that decision in which Trump was required to comply with a subpoena “seeking documents and information”.


Former President Trump, Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump ordered to testify under oath in the New York investigation

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The judge ordered Trump to fulfill the demand for documents and information by March 3 and then extended that deadline to March 31 — a date that was agreed to by both sides at the time, according to court documents.

James’ office said in a February press release that its wide-ranging investigation had collected evidence “showing that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefits.” The investigation’s initial focus was on whether the Trump Organization inflated asset valuations while seeking loans and insurance coverage and deflated their value to reduce tax liability.

Trump and his company have repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing. A lawyer for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment. In Tuesday’s presentation, Habba said the contempt request was “totally devoid of merit”.

A hearing on the contempt motion is scheduled for Monday.

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