Judge orders Trump Organization to hand over documents to New York AG

A judge in New York has ordered the attorneys for the Trump Organization to give unprivileged documents to the state’s attorney general by Feb. 4.

Friday’s order came as part of Attorney General Letitia James’ broader investigation into whether Trump illegally altered the value of his assets — an allegation that surfaced in 2019 from Michael Cohen, the former president’s confidante.

Prior to the order, the state’s Supreme Court reviewed documents submitted by Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius LLP.

“Morgan Lewis 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,” read Friday’s order from Judge Arthur Engoron.

The court noted that it considered many of the communications not to be privileged despite Lewis, the Trump Organization’s attorney, marking them otherwise. Those documents, the court said, were “addressing business tasks and decisions, not exchanges soliciting or rendering legal advice.”

Friday’s order follows another from Engoron granting James access to documents between the Trump Organization and Ralph Mastromanaco, an engineer with which it worked.

“Once again, justice and the rule of law prevailed,” James said at the time. “We will immediately move to ensure that the Trump Organization complies with the court’s order and submits records related to our investigation. My office’s ongoing investigation will continue, as we continue to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

James had also subpoenaed Eric Trump, the former president’s son, and Engoron backed her in a decision from September.

The Trump Organization previously accused James of playing politics. “While we have tried to cooperate in good faith with the investigation at every turn, the NYAG’s continued harassment of the company as we approach the election (and filing of this motion on the first day of the Republican National Convention) once again confirms that this investigation is all about politics,” read a statement last year emailed by Trump Organization chief legal officer Alan Garten.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.