Judge Deals Blow to Trump, Holds in Contempt, Fines Him $10,000 a Day

A New York judge dealt a blow to President Donald Trump and held a former New York resident in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena requiring he turn over documents to investigators working for New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The judge also fined Trump $10,000 per day,  This comes after the criminal case against Trump by the Manhatten DA imploded and has been effectively shuttered with witnesses getting documents and exhibits back.

But that did not stop James from pushing forward with her own investigation. “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 a day,” said New York Supreme Court judge Arthur Engoron.

Andrew Amer, with the attorney general’s office, said Trump failed to produce “even a single responsive document” for the subpoena.

“We are being hampered in our efforts to have a complete understanding because we don’t have evidence from the person who sits at the top of the organization,” Amer said.

“The March 31 deadline came and went and we received zero documents,” Andrew Amer, an attorney for James’ office, said in court Monday. Amer later asked, “Is Mr. Trump thumbing his nose at this court’s order?”

Trump attorney Alina Habba fired back saying:

“There is simply nothing more for him to provide. It was already provided. So your honor, how is President Trump in contempt?”

She continued: “President Trump does not email. He does not text message. And he has no work computer at home or anywhere else.

“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.

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“My client is an honest person, much to the dismay of certain people in this room,”

Engoron ordered Trump to comply by March 3, and later extended that deadline to March 31 — a date that was agreed to by both sides at the time, according to a court document. 

James’ office claimed in a February press release that its wide-ranging investigation has collected evidence “showing that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit.”

The initial focus of the probe was on whether the Trump Organization inflated the valuations of assets while seeking loans and insurance coverage, and deflated their value to reduce tax liability.

Trump and his company have repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Habba reiterated that Monday, calling the investigation “a political crusade.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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