NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general asked a court Thursday to hold former President Donald Trump in contempt and fine him $10,000 per day for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents in her ongoing civil investigation into his business practices.
Attorney General Letitia James argued in court papers that Trump should be fined “a sum sufficient to coerce his compliance” after he missed a March 31 court-imposed deadline to turn over the documents. Trump is in the process of appealing a February court ruling forcing him to answer questions under oath in the civil investigation but has not appealed a ruling establishing the deadline for him to provide documents, James said.
James, a Democrat, has said that her investigation into the Republican former president’s business practices uncovered evidence that he may have misstated the value of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers on financial statements for more than a decade. Her office has said it is seeking Trump’s testimony and documents as it works to determine whether the misrepresented values shown to lenders, taxing authorities, and other business interests constituted fraud and, if so, who committed that fraud.
Last week, in a related matter, a judge ordered weekly progress reports from a digital forensics company that Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, hired to provide evidence to James’ office, which had raised concerns that the process was playing out slower than expected. The company must turn over all requested evidence by April 22, the judge said.
“The judge’s order was crystal clear: Donald J. Trump must comply with our subpoena and turn over relevant documents to my office,” James said in a written statement. “Instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it. We are seeking the court’s immediate intervention because no one is above the law.”
A message seeking comment was left with Trump’s lawyer.