Court Battles

Judge rejects Trump’s attempt to halt $10K-a-day contempt fines

A New York judge rejected an attempt by former President Trump to purge a contempt ruling against him that carries a $10,000-a-day fine.

Earlier this week, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump would be fined $10,000 each day after he was found in contempt of court for not complying with a subpoena from New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). 

James is investigating whether Trump’s business falsified the value of assets illegally for financial gain. Engoron criticized Trump on Tuesday for making “boilerplate objections” to the subpoena and apparently not making a good faith or thorough effort to find requested materials.

The former president “has not yet purged his contempt,” Engoron said in his ruling on Friday, noting that statements from Trump’s counsel were “insufficient in that they failed to specify who searched for each respective request, at what time, where, and using what search protocols; it is not sufficient simply to attach a list of people who participated in the searches.”

Engoron said in his ruling that there was no “useful detail” included in Trump’s personal affidavit regarding where he kept documents, who might have access to them and where they could be stored.

“Moreover, counsel’s claim that her conversations with [Trump] about the locations of the subpoena are covered by attorney-client privilege is without merit,” the New York judge added.

He similarly rejected arguments from Trump that the former president’s failure to comply with James’s subpoena had not been shown to be “calculated to defeat, impair, impede, or prejudice” the New York attorney general’s investigation.

“As this Court has previously noted, each day that passes without compliance further prejudices OAG, as the statues of limitations continue to run and may result in OAG being unable to pursue certain causes of action that it otherwise would,” Engoron said in his ruling. 

The ruling means that Trump will continue to be fined $10,000 each day until he satisfies his obligations related to James’s subpoena. 

Tags Arthur Engoron Contempt of court Donald Trump Letitia James Letitia James New York

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