New York State Judge Orders Trump Organization to Comply with New York Attorney General’s Subpoena by April
“I think we can all agree that we want this to end at some point for many reasons,” Judge Arthur Engoron told a hearing on Monday.
The judge also ordered an e-discovery company hired to verify Trump’s compliance with the subpoena issued more than two years ago to produce weekly reports identifying specific information about the devices that were searched and what wasn’t. was not searched. The Trump Organization must also respond in weekly reports to any discrepancies discovered by the company.
Lawyers for the Trump Organization said they would finish complying with the subpoena by April 15 and would need an additional two weeks to certify and produce any remaining material. The judge approved the schedule and said the Trump Organization could have until April 29. Haystack, the e-discovery company, would complete its review around the same time, a company representative told the judge.
The judge’s decision was made public in real time at a status conference on Monday morning. The two sides went back and forth with the judge and his clerk editing the proposals until a decision was agreed. When an agreement was finally reached, the judge signed the order and shook hands with the lawyers.
This followed arguments between lawyers for the Trump Organization and the office of New York Attorney General Leticia James as the long-running investigation reached a fever pitch.
James has alleged since the investigation began in 2019 that his office uncovered “significant” evidence “indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or deceptive asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions”.
The attorney general’s office previously said it found multiple inaccuracies and misleading or fraudulent omissions in the Trump Organization’s financial statements, which were provided to lenders, insurers and others.
Austin Thompson, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office, told the judge there was a “really urgent” need to complete the production as soon as possible because a toll agreement extending the statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit involving certain conduct expires April 30.
He added that they wanted these detailed reports after learning that the Trump Organization failed to search a number of individuals’ electronic devices.
He also questioned the veracity of the Trump Organization’s compliance now two years and three months since the subpoena was first issued. It was “incredible”, he said, that only 10 documents from former President Donald Trump’s files had been identified.
Trump’s attorneys said the only remaining item to be searched was a cellphone belonging to Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s lead attorney.
Amy Carlin, attorney for the Trump Organization, said the reason the review of this phone is taking so long is because it covers a number of years, involves personal text messages, information not responsible for the subpoena and information covered by a lawyer. – customer privilege.
She said the Trump Organization is not delaying compliance, but the New York Attorney General’s investigation has grown and widened.
“There are tentacles everywhere,” Carlin said.
The judge pressed Thompson to find out when the statute of limitations for various conduct would expire. Thompson said the law dates back six years, but due to a number of factors he thought it could be longer, but he anticipated it would be challenged by the Trump Organization.
“It’s a question that will be debated high and low,” Thompson said.
James’ office is also seeking depositions from Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. The judge ordered them to testify, but the Trumps appealed the decision. Oral arguments have not been scheduled.
This story has been updated with additional details.