It’s not that the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club was critical to the New York Attorney General’s filing of a $250 million lawsuit against the Trump Organization on Wednesday. But maybe it helped.
That’s because, in a Trumpian twist of fate, the raid may well bolster part of New York AG Letitia James’s case against the former president: that he never fully completed all the financial documents he was required to provide to her office. transferred.
Tucked deep into the 222-page lawsuit — on page 205, to be exact — is a section on how the raid could prove that Trump and his lawyers never produced all the financial documents they had to hand over to New York investigators, even after Trump was held in contempt of court for failing to hand over all of his business records.
“Even after nearly two years of litigation, it appears that it may still be the case that not all responsive documents were produced,” the lawsuit reads. Among other things, in a search warrant lawsuit that was executed in Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Florida Mid District noted that “the seized materials . . . correspondence relating to taxes and accounting information.”
The lawsuit notes that documents “relating to tax and accounting information appear to respond to OAG’s subpoenas.”
While it’s unclear in the lawsuit whether those documents were transferred in any other form — perhaps copies of the documents — the New York AG suggests they could be evidence that Trump’s lawyers never fully complied with the subpoenas, despite that one of his attorneys signed an affidavit that they “diligently searched every room of Defendant’s private residence in Mar-a-Lago, including all desks, drawers, bedside tables, dressers, closets, etc.”
“I have not been able to find any documents that responded to the subpoena that have not yet been handed over to the OAG by the Trump organization,” the affidavit said, according to the lawsuit.
Trump has been holding back investigators about this financial data for years. A judge eventually forced him to hire an outside supplier to compile the documents. And even then, the seller – HaystackID – had a hard time finding all the documents responding to the New York AG subpoenas.
In the end, Trump’s lawyers had to swear that they had searched all the records and that there were no more they wanted to withhold. It’s a familiar refrain from Trump’s lawyers, who took a similar oath when handing over classified documents. They said they searched high and low for presidential documents that should have gone to the National Archives, but months later the FBI found boxes of classified information in Mar-a-Lago.
It’s unclear how much of a problem the New York AG will make of Trump’s possible obstruction. But it’s certainly one of the more curious details in the lawsuit.