NY judge orders Trump Organization’s tax firm to hand over more documents to state attorney general

(CNN) — A New York state judge on Friday ordered a tax firm that has worked with former President Donald Trump to turn over more documents to New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of her office’s investigation into the Trump Organization.

The supplemental order is one of several that Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has made in the past month requesting that the tax firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius turn over documents that James’s office has requested as part of its investigation.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment. CNN has reached out to the Trump Organization and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for comment.

The Trump Organization has previously argued that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege, but in December, Engoron ruled that “some but all” of the documents requested by the attorney general’s office were privileged.

Engoron wrote that he privately reviewed documents that Trump’s tax attorney Sheri Dillon at Morgan Lewis & Bockius has to turn over, saying that documents he determined were not privileged be turned over by February 4.

“The court finds that many of the communications Morgan Lewis marked as privileged were communications addressing business tasks and decisions, not exchanges soliciting or rendering legal advice,” Engoron wrote in his order Friday.

The status of documents related to a property’s investigated tax abatements has been a point of contention in the case.

Amy Carlin, an attorney for the Trump Organization, argued last month that the company had “every expectation that those communications would be confidential,” regarding discussions about a property in Westchester County involving an engineer.

The attorney general’s office argued that the documents were not privileged, in part, because the Trump Organization had “waived privilege” when it disclosed certain documents to the IRS to “gain benefit,” said attorney Eric Haren with the attorney general’s office.

Haren said that “literally everything other than the final appraisal value” was not disclosed to his office.

James’ office has been investigating Trump and the Trump Organization since 2019, when Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress that the former President’s annual financial statements inflated the values of his assets in order to secure favorable loans and insurance coverage, but deflated the value of other assets in order to reduce real estate taxes.

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