The Trump family members who are principals in the Trump Organization are on the clock to certify they have turned over all documents demanded by New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of her investigation into their business practices.
As former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained in her Substack column, Supreme Court 1st Judicial District Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in late April that Don Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and two Trump Org execs had until May 12 to turn over materials related to James' $250 million lawsuit, with a certification under oath to follow on May 15.
As Vance points out, failure to comply could lead to severe financial penalties.
"This isn’t the first go-round of foot-dragging by a Trump in this case. In May 2022, the former president paid a $110,000 fine for contempt after he failed to comply with a subpoena from the attorney general’s office. The judge is ratcheting up the pressure on the Trumps to comply in a timely fashion or face more serious consequences this time. Requiring a statement filed under oath is a strong signal he means business," she wrote.
According to the legal expert, this is not new territory for the Trumps, with former president Donald Trump facing a similar deadline over classified documents that were taken to his Mar-a-Lago resort only for the former president's lawyers to submit a false certification which, in turn, has led to an expanded DOJ investigation.
As Vance notes, Trump's squabbles in the courts -- along with his delaying tactics -- are not going unnoticed by jurists overseeing the multiple investigations and lawsuits that have swamped him since he lost re-election.
"The process is easy for most litigants—you turn over responsive information in your files to the other side and the case moves forward. But it’s the part where Trump seems to have repeatedly stumbled. And judges seem to be getting wiser about repeated efforts to manipulate the system," she wrote before adding, "This is the part of the process where the Trumps have to act like any other litigants in a civil matter and turn over discovery. Will they have learned their lesson? Stay tuned."
You can read her column here.