Jul 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Real estate firm held in contempt of court in Trump probe

New York Attorney General Letitia James joins New York City Mayor Eric Adams during a news conference to announce a new lawsuit against "ghost gun" distributors on June 29, 2022.
New York Attorney General Letitia James during a news conference June 29. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A New York judge this week found real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield in contempt of court and ordered it to pay $10,000 a day after it failed to turn over documents subpoenaed in an investigation into former President Trump's business.

Driving the news: Justice Arthur Engoron ordered the fine, which is effective Thursday, after Cushman & Wakefield missed the deadline to produce documents and failed "to seek an extension in a timely manner," per a court filing.

  • "As an initial matter, this Court is incredulous as to why Cushman & Wakefield would wait until two days after the Court-ordered deadline had lapsed to initiate the process of asking for yet another extension," Engoron wrote.
  • "Cushman & Wakefield fails to identify any good cause" for missing the deadline, Engoron added.
  • The real estate firm is required to pay the fine until it complies with the subpoena.

The big picture: New York Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating Trump's business practices for over three years.

  • Trump was held in contempt of court in late April and fined $10,000 every day he refused to turn over documents as required by another subpoena issued by James' office. That order was lifted last week.

What they're saying: "Cushman & Wakefield's work for Donald Trump and the Trump Organization is clearly relevant to our investigation, and we’re pleased that the court has recognized that and taken action to force Cushman to comply with our subpoenas," James said in a statement.

  • "No person or company, no matter how powerful, is above the law."

The other side: "The ruling to hold Cushman & Wakefield in contempt demonstrates a failure to understand the extreme lengths Cushman has gone [to] to comply with the Court’s order," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

Go deeper... New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Attorney General Letitia James and Cushman & Wakefield.

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