The attorney general, Letitia James, has been conducting a civil investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s family business.
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Jonah E. Bromwich and
The New York State attorney general, Letitia James, filed a motion on Thursday asking a judge to hold Donald J. Trump in contempt for failing to turn over documents in her civil investigation into his business activities.
The request by lawyers in Ms. James’s office, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, said that the former president had declined to turn over documents that the attorney general had sought in eight requests. The filing also asked the judge to fine Mr. Trump $10,000 a day until he turns over the materials.
The filing cited a response from Mr. Trump’s legal team arguing that the attorney general’s requests were “grossly overbroad, unintelligible, unduly burdensome” and did not “adequately” describe the requested materials.
In a statement Thursday evening, Mr. Trump criticized the investigation as a “witch hunt” being used by Ms. James for political gain. He described the investigation and others before it as “an attempt to silence a President who is leading in every single poll.”
In a separate statement, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization called Ms. James’s move “baseless,” saying the company had already provided documents in response to the attorney general’s requests.
The State Supreme Court Justice overseeing the legal dispute over the documents, Arthur F. Engoron, will rule on whether to hold Mr. Trump in contempt and whether to assess any possible fines.
The motion is the latest legal skirmish in Ms. James’s civil investigation into Mr. Trump and his family business. Recently, Justice Engoron ordered Mr. Trump and two of his other adult children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., to submit to questioning by the attorney general’s office. Lawyers for the Trump family have appealed that decision.
Because Ms. James’s investigation is civil, it can lead to a lawsuit but not criminal charges. She has said in other court papers that her office had obtained evidence showing that Mr. Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization, had engaged in “fraudulent or misleading” practices.
The attorney general’s office is also involved in a criminal investigation into Mr. Trump that is focused on some of the same conduct and is being conducted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The two senior prosecutors leading that investigation resigned in February after a disagreement with the district attorney, Alvin Bragg, about whether to continue a grand jury presentation concerning Mr. Trump. Mr. Bragg’s office has said that the investigation is ongoing.