Cushman & Wakefield Misses Deadline To Turn Over Trump Documents, AG Asks Court To Intervene
New York Attorney General Letitia James is asking a New York court to force Cushman & Wakefield to immediately hand over documents she has subpoenaed as part of her investigation into Donald Trump’s real estate dealings.
James’ office wrote to New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron Friday, after the brokerage missed the deadline to turn over documents to the court, Business Insider reported.
Engoron ruled in April that Cushman & Wakefield must hand over documents related to appraisals for a number of Trump Organization properties, specifically the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, 40 Wall St. in Manhattan and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles.
The information was meant to be provided by Wednesday, but C&W asked for an extension until July 15, per Business Insider. According to Associate Attorney General Austin Thompson, the brokerage has known for months it was required to provide the documentation it is blaming for the delay.
"Cushman has offered no real reason for the proposed delay aside from the size of the documents at issue,” Thompson wrote in the filing. "It should have anticipated compliance efforts even before the issuance even of that order … Its serial requests for extensions do not suggest it can credibly commit to a production deadline without the threat of enforcement.”
The judge also ordered Cushman to hand over a number of appraisals it has performed on similar properties owned by companies other than Trump, a step that has become a major sticking point in the legal battle. C&W appealed the order in May, arguing that providing the information would compromise the private information of almost 1,000 of its clients. The brokerage’s attorney told the court that the AG was “blindsiding” the company in pushing back against its request for a delay.
In a statement provided to Bisnow through a spokesperson, Cushman said it has produced hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and more than 650 appraisals since February.
"Cushman has provided OAG and the Court with multiple affidavits demonstrating extreme efforts undertaken by Cushman to date to comply as ordered," the company said in the statement. "The OAG is misleading the Court by belittling our significant efforts to comply with the Court’s order."
Trump and his three eldest children are all defendants in James' lawsuit that alleges the family business artificially inflated and deflated the value of its properties to lower tax bills and get better terms on loans.
Last month, Engoron ruled that Trump was no longer in contempt of court for failing to provide documents James had requested. He had provided the requested documents and paid a fine of $110K, according to the judge’s ruling.
UPDATE, JUNE 5, 3 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Cushman & Wakefield.