A New York judge held former President Donald Trump in contempt in a Monday ruling for failing to comply with a subpoena for business documents.
Judge Arthur Engoron made the ruling in a Manhattan Supreme Court courtroom after New York Attorney General Letitia James condemned the former president for not handing over business documents related to a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings, CNBC reported. The former president must pay $10,000 for each day he does not turn over the documents.
“Mr. Trump … I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously. I hereby hold you in civil contempt,” Engoron’s 21-page filing said, although Trump did not attend the court hearings, according to CNBC.
James said “justice prevailed” in response to the judge’s ruling, saying Trump has tried to “evade the law and stop our lawful investigation into him and his company’s financial proceedings,” according to CNBC.
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.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 25, 2022
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, told the judge that the former president does not deserve to be held in contempt, arguing the company was “right on schedule” with turning in the documents, CNBC reported. Last week, Habba said Trump was not in possession of any of the documents related to the subpoena, but were all held by the Trump Organization. (RELATED: New York Judge Orders Eric Trump To Testify Before Election Day, Says ‘Extreme Travel Schedule’ Is Not A Legitimate Excuse)
The ruling followed James’ request April 7 for Trump to be held in contempt because he allegedly did not meet the March 31 deadline to turn in the documents to the Attorney General’s office, CNBC reported. James announced in January that she found “significant evidence” that the Trump Organization committed financial fraud to attain economic advantages including tax breaks, insurance coverage and loans.
“We have uncovered significant evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years,” James wrote.
Trump is appealing Engoron’s order that he and his two oldest children answer questions posed by James’ investigators under oath, CNBC reported. James filed a brief Thursday saying that the former president has “failed to contest the order for document production,” the Hill reported.
A Trump Organization spokesperson called James’ Thursday request “a witch hunt” in a recent statement, according to the outlet.
“President Trump left The Trump Organization in 2017 and any responsive documents were previously provided to the AG by The Trump Organization,” the spokesperson said. “This is just more harassment and the latest chapter in the AG’s continued witch hunt.”