N.Y. judge holds Donald Trump in contempt over AG’s subpoena

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N.Y. judge holds Donald Trump in contempt over AG's subpoena

Earlier this month, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a motion seeking to find Donald Trump in contempt, arguing that he’d continued to defy the subpoena and she sought a fine of $10,000 for each day of noncompliance. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

A New York Supreme Court judge on Monday held former President Donald Trump in contempt and said he would be fined $10,000 each day until he complies with a subpoena related to an investigation into his business practices.

“Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously and I take mine seriously. I hereby hold you in civil contempt and fine you $10,000 per day until you purge that contempt,” Judge Arthur Engoron said at the hearing, CNN reported.

Engoron, who had previously shot down Trump’s attempt to block the subpoena seeking his testimony and relevant documents in February, held the in-person hearing at the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, court records show.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Letitia James filed a motion seeking to find Trump in contempt, arguing that he’d continued to defy the subpoena, and she sought a fine of $10,000 for each day of noncompliance.

“Trump did not comply at all. Instead, he served a ‘response’ … raising objections to each of the eight document requests in the subpoena based on grounds such as overbreadth, burden and lack of particularity,” James said in court documents.

“Mr. Trump further asserted, subject to his objections, that he would not produce any documents responsive to [our] subpoena.”

N.Y. judge holds Donald Trump in contempt over AG's subpoena

The subpoena by the office of Letitia James is related to an investigation into Donald Trump’s business practices. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

James’ investigation is a civil matter examining whether Trump’s business inflated the value of its assets over the years for financial gain. A separate criminal investigation by Manhattan’s district attorney indicted its former chief financial officer last year and could potentially lead to criminal charges against Trump.

Lawyers for Trump have denied that he failed to comply with James’ subpoena.

Trump attorney Alina Habba previously said his legal team was unable to find documents specified in the subpoena and that James would have to wait for the Trump Organization to produce them because any responsive documents are in the company’s possession.

During the hearing on Monday, Habba said that she searched through thousands of documents provided by Trump through his assistants and interviewed him in Florida but reiterated that he does not have the types of documents sought by investigators.

“President Trump does not email. He does not text message. And he has no work computer at home or anywhere else,” Habba said.

“I took it upon myself to get on a plane and flew down and asked him one by one if there was anything that he had on his person that he had not given me I would need that. And he did not.”

Habba said Trump would sign an affidavit swearing that he complied with the subpoena when asked by Engoron.

Lawyers with the attorney general’s office described getting documents in the investigation “like pulling teeth” and said their efforts are “being hampered.”

“This court’s order was not an opening bid for a negotiation or an invitation for a new round of challenges to the subpoena,” James said in the court documents, accusing Trump lawyers of delaying the investigation.

James said that the daily $10,000 fine until Trump produces the subpoenaed documents would be “a sum sufficient to coerce his compliance with the court’s February 2022 order.”

“The court should put an end to Mr. Trump’s intransigence and subterfuge,” James said in a court document filed this month.

“Mr. Trump should be held in civil contempt for his blatant failure to obey the court’s February 2022 order and coerced to comply in full through the imposition of an appropriate fine.”

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