Engoron said Trump’s attorneys did not show the court that they had searched for the documents, though Alina Habba, one of Trump’s lawyers, claimed to have searched his calendars and interviewed Trump himself at Mar-a-Lago.
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“President Trump does not email. He does not text message. And he has no work computer at home or anywhere else,” Habba insisted. She could have added, “and he tears up paper documents or flushes them down the toilet once he’s read them,” but the judge might not have found that compelling. “I took it upon myself to get on a plane and flew down and asked him one by one if there was anything that he had on his person that he had not given me I would need that. And he did not,” Habba said, pretending that Trump’s word is worth anything. Habba said Trump would sign an affidavit swearing that he had complied with the subpoena.
The New York Times reports that James has reason to believe Trump has more documents than he’s admitting to: “In one filing, her lawyers mentioned a filing cabinet at the company that contained the former president’s files, and noted that he used Post-it notes to pass messages to employees.”
James also noted that Trump’s lawyer said at least one file wasn’t searched because the Trump Organization said Trump wasn’t involved in preparing his own financial statements, a direct contradiction of the line on those very same financial statements saying, “Donald J. Trump is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation” of their information.
Trump’s lawyer said they would appeal the judgment, as Trump has appealed and countersued at every other point in James’ investigation. Nonetheless, longtime Trump observers say this is unprecedented:
At the same time as the attorney general’s office carries out a civil investigation, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is running a parallel criminal investigation into the same business practices.
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