The New York Attorney General is seeking documents from former U.S. President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into his business practices.

A New York state judge heard arguments over whether former U.S. President Donald Trump should be held in contempt of court for failing to produce documents subpoenaed in a state investigation into his business practices.

Trump failed to quash New York Attorney General Letitia James’ subpoena and then failed to produce all documents by a court-ordered March 3 deadline, which was later extended to March 31 at the request of his lawyers.

The attorney general’s office had received “zero papers” from Trump by the end of March, special litigator Andrew Amell of James’ office said Monday before Justice Arthur N’Gollen in New York state court in Manhattan.

“Donald Trump is not beyond the powers of this court,” Ammer said in support of the contempt motion. “Mr. Trump challenged the subpoena in court and he lost.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating Trump’s business practices [File: Mike Segar/Reuters]

James is investigating whether the Trump Organization, the New York City-based business of the former president’s family, inflated the value of its real estate in order to get preferential loans and tax breaks.

James said her investigation found “significant evidence” that the company’s financial statements had “relyed on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure financial gain” for more than a decade.

Trump and his two adult children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., have been subpoenaed and ordered to testify to the attorney general. An appeal of the testimony is pending, but the former president agreed to comply with the subpoena’s document requirements.

Kevin Wallace, a senior attorney with the attorney general’s office, said the Trump Organization has “significant gaps” in compliance with the state’s documentation requirements.

“it’s been [like] Wallace added that in some cases, teeth were pulled to obtain documents.

The state is demanding that Trump be fined $10,000 a day or more until he complies.

Anti-Trump demonstrators gather outside New York County Supreme Court in New York City
Anti-Trump demonstrators gather outside the New York County Supreme Court in New York City as a judge hears debate on whether the former president should be held in contempt [David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Reuters]

Alina Haba, a lawyer for Trump and his company, told the hearing that James’ investigation was a “fishing expedition” and that the Trump Organization’s document production was “completed on time.”

“It’s a political crusade,” Haba said. “The Attorney General’s investigation appears to have become aimless.”

The attorney general has questioned how the Trump Organization values ​​the Trump brand and assets including golf clubs in New York and Scotland and Trump’s penthouse at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan.

Trump, a Republican, has denied wrongdoing and said the investigation was politically motivated. James is a Democrat.

In February, the accounting firm that prepares Trump’s annual financial statements said the documents, used to secure lucrative loans and glorify Trump’s image as a wealthy businessman, “should no longer be relied upon.”

Mazars USA LLP recommends that the Trump Organization notify anyone in possession of the documents not to use them when assessing the financial health of the company and the former president.

Mazars also said it was cutting ties with its best-known client, Trump.

Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified publicly before a congressional committee in 2019, saying Trump devalued his assets to pay lower real estate taxes.