Former US President Donald Trump hosts a Save America-sponsored rally with Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorne, Bo Hines, Dan Bishop, Mark Robinson and Greg Murphy in Selma, North Carolina on April 9, 2022.
Peter Zai | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
On Monday, a New York judge found former President Donald Trump in contempt of court 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 a day if he doesn’t comply with the subpoena.
Judge Arthur Engoron’s finding of contempt of court in a Manhattan courtroom came after a more than two-hour hearing in which lawyers for New York Attorney General Letitia James criticized Trump for delaying handing over the required documents.
James is investigating the Trump Organization for allegations of improperly manipulating the reported values of various real estate assets to obtain better financial terms for loans and insurance coverage, and to reduce taxes.
“Mr. Trump… I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously. I hereby declare you a civil contempt,” Engoron said, although Trump was not in the courtroom, Reuters reported.
Engoron cited Trump’s “repeated failures” to hand over materials wanted by James investigators.
James immediately tweeted. “Today, justice has prevailed. Our investigation into Donald Trump and the financial dealings of the Trump Organization will continue because no one is above the law.”
Trump’s lawyer in the case, Alina Khabba, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hubba told Engoron that Trump deserves no disrespect, saying the Trump organization is “on schedule” with handing over documents requested by the Attorney General.
Hubba also called the Democrat James investigation a “political crusade,” echoing Republican Trump’s criticism of the investigation.
On April 7, James asked Angoron to charge Trump with contempt of court, saying that the ex-president missed the March 31 deadline to provide investigators with documents in accordance with the subpoena. Trump has already received an extension of the original deadline for this subpoena by almost a month.
“The judge’s order was very clear: Donald J. Trump must execute our subpoena and submit the relevant documents to my office,” James said in a statement.
“Instead of obeying the court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it. We demand the immediate intervention of the court, because no one is above the law.”
Trump’s lawyers told James that he would not show documents because he could not find them on his premises. These lawyers also argued that even if the documents existed, “the Trump organization has them.”
Trump is appealing yet another order from Engoron to have him answer questions from James investigators under oath.
– Additional reporting on Kevin Breuninger
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