Donald Trump swears he has lost four of the cellphones subpoenaed by NY Attorney General Letitia James

·5 min read
Donald Trump (left) and a phone displaying his social media app, Truth Social.
Donald Trump (left) and a phone displaying his social media app, Truth Social.Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Donald Trump swore in an affidavit on Friday that he has no idea where four of his old cellphones are.

  • Trump is responding to a subpoena from the NY attorney general's probe of the Trump Organization.

  • His failure to turn over records and documents has cost him more than $100,000 in fines and counting.

Former President Donald Trump swears he cannot find four personal and business cellphones that New York's Attorney General has demanded for her probe of the Trump Organization, according to a new court filing.

"I am not aware of its current location," and "I do not know its current whereabouts," Trump says repeatedly of his most recent business phone, two old flip phones, plus a Samsung that he had used until "it was taken from me at some point while I was president," according to the filing.

Trump also swears in the filing that he has no additional personal business documents to turn over to the AG's probe — and that he does not own or use a business computer.

"I also do not use a computer for work-related purposes," he says in the filing — a court-ordered affidavit he signed and dated on Friday, May 6.

The affidavit was included as part of a larger filing in New York Supreme Court that pushes back against a costly contempt-of-court order.

The former president has been fined $10,000 a day since April 26. That's when a Manhattan judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, issued a written order holding Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with AG Letitia James' subpoenas for his business documents and records.

Trump currently owes James more than $100,000 in fines. He has begun appealing the contempt order, calling the accompanying fine "exorbitant" and unjustified.

Engoron had rejected a less-thorough affidavit submitted last week, in which Trump spent all of one page saying he'd looked for documents but came up empty-handed. The AG has complained that Trump and his business have in two years turned over only ten of the former president's personal business documents.

Friday night's four-page sworn statement attempts to address Engoron's demand for a more thorough, so-called "Jackson affidavit," detailing Trump's search for any documents that would be responsive to James' subpoena.

Trump was known during his presidency for keeping a cellphone always at the ready for the firing-off of incendiary tweets. But in his affidavit, Trump said he's lost track of some of these old devices, including the very phones the AG believes could contain information pertinent to the inquiry.

Trump said he believes the Trump Organization last issued him a business cell phone in 2015, a year before his election. That one's just disappeared, he said.

"I am no longer have the cell phone in my possession and I am not aware of its current location," Trump said in his affidavit of a device that might have been of great interest to the AG's probe.

As for "two flip phones and a Samsung mobile phone" he has owned since 2010, these, too, are lost to the ages.

"I do not know their current location," he said of the flip phones.

"I took the Samsung with me to the White House and it was taken from me at some point while I was President," he added, possibly alluding to a confiscation from early in his presidency, when the Secret Service replaced Trump's Samsung Galaxy smartphone with a more secure device.

"I do not have the Samsung in my possession and I do not know its current whereabouts," he said.

Then Trump addresses the phones he's using now.

"Currently, I own two personal mobile phones," he said.

One is an iPhone that he's owned for "several years," Trump said. This one, he said, was submitted to be searched and imaged on March 21.

Trump said he recently resubmitted the phone "in an abundance of caution."

Trump's other current phone is a new one. He received it just last week from Truth Social, the social media company created by Trump Media & Technology Group, he said.

This phone, he said, is used solely for posting "truths."

"I use this phone exclusively for posting on Truth Social and no other purpose," Trump said. "I have never placed or received a call, sent or received a text message, or used this phone in any other manner."

Trump has been accused of taking highly sensitive White House documents with him to Mar-a-Lago. Still, in his affidavit he insisted, "Since at least January 1, 2010, it has been my customary practice not to keep any documents, files, or papers relating to my business activities in my private residences."

Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, joined in the granular search, the filing said. At one point, she even peeped inside the former president's "nightstands, dressers, closets, etc." at his residence at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ, according to Habba's own affidavit.

The filing marked the most fulsome explanation Trump has given to date related to his apparent stiff-arming of the New York attorney general investigation.

At a recent court hearing, a lawyer for James' office indicated that the New York attorney general was preparing to take "enforcement action" against Trump in the near future.

James had previously said that the Trump Organization engaged in "fraudulent or misleading practices," but she said her office wanted to collect additional documents and testimony before deciding whether to sue Trump or his namesake company.

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