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Judge Orders Trump to Pay $110K and Meet Other Conditions to End Contempt

Judge Orders Trump to Pay $110K and Meet Other Conditions to End Contempt

A New York judge said Wednesday he will lift Donald Trump’s contempt of court order only if he meets specific conditions, including paying the $110,000 in fines he’s racked up for being slow to respond to a civil subpoena issued by the state’s Attorney General.

Judge Arthur Engoron declared Trump in contempt on April 25th and has fined him $10,000 per day for not complying with a subpoena in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ long-running investigation into Trump’s business practices. The judge said he will end his contempt finding if Trump submits additional paperwork by May 20th that details his alleged efforts to search for the subpoenaed records and explain his and his company’s document retention policies. Engoron ordered Trump to pay the total amount of fines he has accrued through May 6th, when Trump’s lawyers submitted 66 pages of court documents detailing the efforts by him and his lawyers to locate the subpoenaed records.

[Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images]
AG James, who is a Democrat, has said her three-year investigation uncovered evidence that Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, misstated the value of assets like skyscrapers and golf courses on financial statements for over a decade.

 

Trump lawyer Alan Futerfas claimed AG James was “engaging in a trick” to get around a state law that requires immunity for people testifying before a criminal grand jury. He also criticized Judge Engoron for not holding a hearing to explore the nature of coordination between James’ office and the district attorney’s office

Another Trump lawyer, Alina Habba, said in a May 6th court filing that Trump responded to the subpoena completely and no relevant documents were withheld. She said Trump’s team looked for records at his offices and private quarters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and his residence in Florida but didn’t find anything relevant that hadn’t already been produced. Her filing also detailed searches of other locations including file cabinets and storage areas at the Trump Organization’s offices in New York.

Engoron said he could reinstate the fine, retroactive to May 7th, if his conditions aren’t met. He told Trump to pay the money directly to James’ office and for the Attorney General to hold the money in an escrow account while Trump’s legal team appeals the original contempt finding.

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