By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump is likely no longer in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena in a civil investigation in New York into the former U.S. president’s business practices, a State Attorney General Letitia James’ office said Tuesday.
In a letter filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, an attorney for James said affidavits filed by employees of Trump companies appeared sufficient to lift a contempt order on April 25, which led to Trump being fined $110,000.
“Respondent counsel must rely on current employees to provide the required information,” the letter states. “[We] are prepared to agree that the affidavits satisfy the court order because it is not clear what else, if anything, the respondent and his counsel may be ordered to do. »
Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The letter also renewed James’ concerns about Trump’s document retention policy, citing the “apparent absence” of financial records he should have that could shed light on the value of his businesses.
Judge Arthur Engoron, who found Trump contemptuous, will decide whether or not to lift this order.
James has been investigating the Trump Organization, which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate around the world, for more than three years.
The attorney general said his investigation found evidence the company had overstated the value of assets to get favorable loans and understated the value of assets to get tax breaks.
Trump and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, agreed to testify under oath beginning July 15 after failing to convince two state courts to scuttle their depositions.
Trump, a Republican, called James’ investigation a politically motivated witch hunt. James is a Democrat.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)