New York judge holds Donald Trump in contempt for failing to comply with subpoena for business documents

Former US President Donald Trump holds a rally sponsored by Save America with Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Bo Hines, Dan Bishop, Mark Robinson and Greg Murphy in Selma, NC, on April 9, 2022.
Peter Zay | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A New York judge held former President Donald Trump in contempt of court on Monday for failing to comply with a subpoena for business documents related to an investigation by the state attorney general’s office.

Trump will have to pay $10,000 per day for as long as he fails to comply with the subpoena.

The contempt finding by Judge Arthur Engoron in a Manhattan Supreme Court courtroom came after a more than two-hour hearing in which lawyers for New York Attorney General Letitia James blasted Trump for dragging his feet in turning over the demanded documents.

James is investigating the Trump Organization over allegations that it improperly manipulated the stated values of various real estate assets to obtain more favorable financial terms for loans and insurance coverage, and to lower their taxes.

“Mr. Trump … I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously. I hereby hold you in civil contempt,” Engoron said, although Trump was not in the courtroom, Reuters reported.

Engoron cited Trump’s “repeated failures” to turn over material sought by James’ investigators.

James promptly tweeted. “Today, justice prevailed. Our investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings will continue undeterred because no one is above the law.”

Trump’s lawyer in the case, Alina Habba, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Habba had told Engoron that Trump did not deserve to be held in contempt, saying the Trump Organization was “right on schedule” with turning over documents sought by the attorney general.

Habba also called the probe by the Democrat James “a political crusade,” echoing criticism of the investigation by the Republican Trump.

James had asked Engoron on April 7 to hold Trump in contempt of court, saying the ex-president had failed to meet a March 31 deadline for giving her investigators documents pursuant to the subpoena. Trump already had received a nearly month-long extension of the original deadline for that subpoena.

“The judge’s order was crystal clear: Donald J. Trump must comply with our subpoena and turn over relevant documents to my office,” James said in a statement.

“Instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it. We are seeking the court’s immediate intervention because no one is above the law.”

Trump’s lawyers had told James that he would not produce the documents because he had been unable to locate them in his possession. Those attorneys also argued that even if the documents existed, “the Trump Organization has them.”

Trump is appealing another order by Engoron that he answer questions under oath by James’ investigators.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Sophie Tremblay

Similar Posts