Even after former President Donald Trump left office, he still faces multiple criminal and civil challenges — including finance-related issues connected to his family’s businesses.
In a recent order, a New York Supreme Court judge ordered attorneys for the Trump Organization to turn over business documents to the state’s attorney general.
“All documents marked ‘not privileged'”
According to The Hill, the lawyers had previously claimed that the tax information was protected by attorney-client privilege.
Nevertheless, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that, in light of a review of the subpoenaed documents in question, he had determined that not all of them were privileged and those that were not must be handed over soon so that New York Attorney General Letitia James could continue her investigation into the Trump family business.
The probe is focused, at least in part, on allegations that the Trump Organization had falsified the value of certain properties in an effort to qualify for larger loans or smaller tax burdens.
As Fox News explained, Engoron’s ruling applies to select documents being held by the law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, which is representing the organization.
The judge asserted in his ruling that the law firm “is hereby ordered to produce to petitioner, by February 4, 2021, all documents marked ‘not privileged’ by this court in the privilege log being emailed today under separate cover to all parties.”
“Business tasks and decisions”
Engoron further contended that certain documents addressed “business tasks and decisions, not exchanges soliciting or rendering legal advice” and therefore did not qualify for protection.
Documents in the case primarily concern a Trump-owned property in Westchester, New York, which was being investigated by James in response to allegations made in 2019 by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
The order to hand over certain documents followed an earlier ruling from the same judge instructing an engineering firm that worked with the Trump Organization to turn over certain paperwork related to the Westchester property.
Those documents reportedly pertain to a conservation easement that investigators believe could shed light on the property’s actual value. The property is also at the center of a criminal investigation launched by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance against Trump that is focused on allegations of tax fraud or other financial crimes.
Prior efforts by Vance’s team to gain possession of Trump’s personal and business tax returns have been blocked as challenges to his subpoenas continued through the court system.