New York’s attorney general has asked a court to hold former president Donald Trump in contempt and fine him 10,000 dollars 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 Mr 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.
Mr Trump is in the process of appealing against a February court ruling forcing him to answer questions under oath in the civil investigation, but has not appealed over a ruling establishing the deadline for him to provide documents, Ms James said.
A message seeking comment was left with Mr Trump’s lawyer.
Ms 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 Mr 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 Mr Trump’s company, the Trump Organisation, hired to provide evidence to Ms 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.
Later, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said a criminal investigation into the former president and his business practices is continuing “without fear or favour” despite a recent shake-up in the probe’s leadership.
In a rare public statement, Mr Bragg denied that the three-year investigation was winding down or that a grand jury term expiring this month would impede his office’s ability to bring charges.
Citing secrecy rules, the district attorney said he could not discuss details of the probe, but pledged to publicly disclose findings when it is over.
“In recent weeks, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been repeatedly asked whether our investigation concerning former president Donald J Trump, the Trump Organisation, and its leadership is continuing,” Mr Bragg wrote. “It is.”