Longtime Trump assistant contradicts his sworn statement in New York investigation: report

Rhona Graff, who spent years working for Trump, "cast doubt" on his sworn affidavit, attorney general says

Published June 7, 2022 11:01AM (EDT)

Donald Trump and Letitia James (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Donald Trump and Letitia James (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Raw Story


On Monday, CBS News reported that a one-time executive assistant for former President Donald Trump has contradicted a key point he made in a sworn affidavit during his response to civil allegations in New York.

"Rhona Graff, who worked for years as executive assistant to Donald Trump, 'cast doubt on the completeness of' a sworn affidavit submitted by Trump in May in an effort to clear a judge's finding of contempt, according to a Monday filing by the New York Attorney General's Office," reported Graham Kates.

"Trump was held in contempt April 25 after claiming he had no documents demanded in a subpoena by investigators for New York Attorney General Letitia James. Her office sought records related to Trump's personal finances, as well as information related to the financing of several properties."

"As part of the former president's effort to clear the contempt ruling, Trump said in an affidavit that 'it has been my customary practice to delegate document handling and retention responsibilities to my executive assistants,'" the report continued. "But in her May 31 deposition, Graff, who worked for Trump for more than two decades, said that statement was 'very general. It doesn't mean (executive assistants) handled every document and maintained everything that came out of his office.' Trump 'had an inbox and an outbox,' Graff said. If material was sent to him in a folder, Graff 'didn't think it was my position to look inside,' she said, adding that Trump 'maybe on the outside would have said to return to so and so, whoever gave it to him.'"

Trump ultimately lost his bid to clear his contempt of court ruling, and at the end of last month, he paid $110,000 in fines to the court.

James is investigating whether the Trump organization lied about its finances by boosting the value of assets to qualify for loans while minimizing them to avoid paying taxes.

"Attorneys for James' office have repeatedly indicated recently that the investigation is nearing its conclusion, and that it may lead to an 'enforcement action in the near future.' They have not elaborated on what enforcement might be," the report noted. "But before that happens, a New York appeals court must decide if Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his daughter Ivanka Trump must sit for depositions with James' investigations. The judge overseeing the investigation and a lower appeals court have both sided with James' office, ruling that a December subpoena seeking their testimony was valid."

By Matthew Chapman

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