Friday, May 6, 2022

Trump Now Owes NY AG $100K

On Thursday, the $10,000-a-day Contempt-of-Court Fine that Trump owes to New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) hit the $100,000 mark.

The Fine is Trump's Penalty for failing to Comply with the AG's Subpoena for his Personal Business Documents, and it will keep mounting each day, accruing even on the weekends, until he gives a Manhattan Judge something called a "Jackson affidavit."

In demanding Trump swear out a Jackson Affidavit, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, was ordering Trump to sign a First-Person explanation, under Oath, describing in Detail, why his Search for the Personal Business Documents James wants has come up utterly empty.

"I want to know who did these searches," the Judge said in explaining why a bare-bones, One-page Affidavit Trump handed in last week was woefully Inadequate. "When did they look? What were they looking for?"

2022 is shaping up to be a Legal Nightmare for Trumpworld. Investigations into his Company's Finances are ongoing, along with others related to January 6.

The Trump Organization is the subject of a sprawling Investigation from the New York Attorney General's Office, and Manhattan District Attorney's Office, into alleged Financial Misconduct.

In Atlanta, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, with a Special Grand Jury, is weighing Charges over his conduct in the 2020 Election.

Those Investigations are proceeding as the Justice Department (DOJ) comes up on the Five-year deadline to Prosecute Trump over Acts of possible Obstruction, that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller III scrutinized as part of his Investigation into Russia's Interference in the 2016 Election.

The Biden Administration is sending a steady stream of Trump's White House Records to the House Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Attack on the Capitol. Trump, along with many of his Allies, face Federal Investigations and Lawsuits stemming from the January 6 Insurrection. Expect the Judges in those Cases to set Court dates later this year.

The Story of the Jackson Affidavit, so critical to what happens next in the AG's Probe of Trump's Business, stretches back almost 40 years.

It's a story that began when a woman named Christophena Jackson was nearly swallowed alive by the crumbling stairway of her South Bronx apartment building. It was at around 3:30 p.m. on October 11, 1984. Jackson, 64, was walking down the stairwell of her New York City-owned building at 970 Prospect Avenue. Somewhere between the second and third floor, one of the marble steps gave way as she set her foot on it.

"When I stepped on one of the steps on the stairway, it collapsed," she said in a Deposition. "And I fell through the hole where the step had been prior to its collapse. "I grabbed the window to stop me from going all the way through to the second floor."

It turns out the Entire building was in such Bad shape, it was quickly Condemned and cleared by the City of all Tenants.

Jackson was in bad shape too, injured permanently in her back, neck, arm and leg, her Lawyers said. But when she Sued the City for $500,000 in 1987, Three years after her fall, City Lawyers did everything the AG is now accusing Trump of doing. They Delayed. Depositions of City Workers who might know the Location of important Maintenance and Inspection Records were Rescheduled by the City a dozen times, according to the Case file.

They Deflected. The City countersued a Contractor, saying they were the Ones who maintained the Building and had the Records. In fact, the Contractor only handled the Payroll for the Building's Maintenance Workers, not their Work records, a red herring that cost years of court time.

And when the City absolutely had to explain, by Order of a Judge, why they had zero maintenance and inspection records to give Jackson's Lawyer, they submitted a similarly tersely-worded Affidavit, Three paragraphs long. Frustrated by No Records and scant explanation, Jackson's Lawyers took the Case to the Appellate Court that sits in Manhattan, the same Courthouse now handling Trump's Appeal of his Contempt Order.

The Court ruled that the City should be Sanctioned for failing to say "where the subject records were likely to be kept, what efforts, if any, were made to preserve them, whether such records were routinely destroyed, or whether a search had been conducted in every location where the records were likely to be found."

The Sanction ordered by the Appellate Court: Should the Case go to Trial, Jurors would be instructed to assume the City knew about the Dilapidated Stairs, and did Nothing to Fix them. It's no surprise that the City settled the Case shortly after the Appellate decision, for an Undisclosed sum.

And since 1992, the Decision has become New York Case Law, cited scores of times in Motions and Decisions when Individuals and Companies Fail to cough up Subpoenaed Records.

Trump can hope that a Panel of Appellate Judges, in Manhattan, will Freeze the Fine while he Appeals the Contempt Order. So far, the lone Appellate Judge to consider the matter Declined to do so in a Ruling on Tuesday. But Trump's best chance at stopping the Fine remains filing a Jackson Affidavit.

Trump is also looking at similar Cases in California and Chicago, and his Two Scotland Golf Clubs, over Business Valuation of his Properties.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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