As the dual civil and criminal New York investigations into the Trump Organization roll on, a New York state judge unsealed a court order on Friday giving Donald Trump’s company and some of his top lieutenants an ultimatum: Either turn over all the documents to comply with subpoenas from the New York Attorney General’s office, or you’ll have to pay for a third party to do it for you.
In the filing, the Trump Organization agreed that if the NYAG believes the company has not fully complied with its requests—as prosecutors have long complained—the business will hire a firm to go through electronic records belonging to its top executives, including ex-President Donald Trump and his family.
New York Attorney General Letitia James put out a statement on Friday morning noting that this agreement caps a long-running effort to get the company to comply with her office’s demands for key documents in its ongoing investigation.
“For more than a year now, the Trump Organization has failed to adequately respond to our subpoenas, hiding behind procedural delays and excuses. Once again, the court has ordered that the Trump Organization must turn over the information and documents we are seeking, otherwise face an independent third-party that will ensure that takes place. Our work will continue undeterred because no one is above the law,” she said in the statement.
The order regards key documents from 25 people with ties to the company, including Trump himself, three of his children (Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka), his personal assistant Rhona Graff, and top officers who are already under the microscope in the DA and AG criminal investigation. Some of those names likely to turn heads include chief operating officer Matthew Calamari, company controller Jeffrey S. McConney, and longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who was indicted in July by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance on charges of tax fraud.
The agreement was originally filed on Sept. 3, but was sealed 10 days later—one day before an attorney for Eric Trump withdrew from the case. The judge unsealed the agreement on Friday following a request from legal news outlet Law360.
In the filing, the judge said that because “disputes have arisen regarding the Trump Organization’s document collection and production in response to [NYAG] subpoenas,” the company must produce a report by Sept. 30 detailing the actions it has taken to preserve, gather, and produce that evidence. If James still feels the company has not satisfied her request, the Trump Organization will have two weeks to hire, out of its own pocket, a third-party firm to oversee discovery of its electronic records. The company can select the firm, but James’s office must approve the choice.
The New York Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney are jointly prosecuting a criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. But this matter predates their joint effort, dating back to when the office was pursuing its own investigation related to suspicious real estate valuations and allegations of potential bank fraud.
According to court documents and two sources familiar with investigation, previous iterations of this fight for records avoided a high-profile battle because defendants and witnesses eventually relented and gave up real estate and bank records.
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