Judge Donald Trump holds contempt of court in New York’s Attorney General

Former United States President Donald Trump is holding a convention 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 has held former President Donald Trump in court for contempt of court on Monday for failing to comply with a business documents lawsuit related to a civil investigation conducted by the state attorney’s office for his company.

Trump will have to pay $ 10,000 a day as long as he does not comply with the lawsuit.

Judge Arthur Engoron’s finding of contempt in the Manhattan Supreme Court came after a more than two-hour hearing in which attorneys for New York’s Attorney General Letitia James blew up Trump for dragging his feet to turn over the required documents.

James is investigating the Trump organization for allegations that it wrongfully manipulated the stated values ​​of various real estate assets in order to obtain more favorable economic 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 keep you in civil contempt,” Engoron said, even though Trump was not in the courtroom, Reuters reported.

Anti-Trump protesters gather outside New York County Supreme Court in New York City, USA, on April 25, 2022.

David Dee Delgado | Reuters

Engoron cited Trump’s “repeated mistakes” in passing on material that James’ investigators had sought.

The judge did not immediately say whether Trump’s obligation to pay $ 10,000 a day has retroactive effect to March 31, the deadline for the lawsuit.

James tweeted promptly. “Today, justice prevailed.”

“For years, Donald Trump has been trying to circumvent the law and stop our lawful investigation of him and his company’s financial transactions,” James said later in a statement.

“Today’s judgment makes it clear: 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 “just on schedule” in passing on documents requested by the state attorney general.

Habba also called the inquiry into Democrat James “a political crusade,” repeating criticism of the Republican Trump inquiry.

Last week, Habba said in a legal filing that a search of records found that Trump “was not in possession of any documents responding to the subpoena and that all potentially responding documents were in the Trump organization’s possession, custody or control. “

Anti-Trump protesters gather outside New York County Supreme Court in New York City, USA, on April 25, 2022.

David Dee Delgado | Reuters

James had asked Engoron on April 7 to keep Trump in contempt of court and said the ex-president had failed to meet a March 31 deadline to provide his investigators with documents under the subpoena. Trump had already received an almost month-long extension of the original deadline for that lawsuit.

“The judge’s order was crystal clear: Donald J. Trump must comply with our subpoena and deliver 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 is appealing another order from Engoron to answer questions under oath from James’ investigators.

Additional reporting of Kevin Breuinger

This is breaking news. Please come back for updates.

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