A New York judge scorns Donald Trump for his failure to produce documents in the state’s civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances, a move that could cost the former president $10,000 per day until it complies.
Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on Monday that Trump rejected the court’s order to turn over the documents and would be fined until James’ subpoena is complied with.
“Mr. Trump: I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously,” Engoron said, before issuing the ruling, citing the former president’s “repeated failures” to accompany the investigation. .
New York Attorney General Letitia James said Monday that “justice prevailed” in light of the ruling.
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“Our investigation into Donald Trump and the financial dealings of the Trump Organization will continue undeterred because no one is above the law,” she added.
Trump’s legal team reportedly failed to produce “even a single responsive document” for the investigation, according to CNN. “We are hampered in our efforts to get a full understanding because we don’t have evidence from the person who sits at the top of the organization,” said attorney Andrew Stuart Amer, who works for the James’ office.
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Trump’s team said they would appeal the decision. “It really is a fishing expedition,” said Trump attorney Alina Habba, who said her team was “on schedule” with the investigation.
Still, the contempt charge marks a notable loss for the former president, who has aggressively sought to stamp out the investigation at every turn, accusing the investigation of being “politically motivated”.
The investigation, launched more than two years ago, focuses on possible fraud within the Trump organization. James specifically assesses whether the former president overvalued and undervalued certain assets for tax, insurance and loan reasons.
In January, James filed a motion to compel Trump and his children, Ivanka and Don Jr., to provide private testimony to his office. At that time, the attorney general said his office found “significant evidence that the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations.”
And in March, Engoron formally approved that motion, allowing James’ office to table all three, though none have been questioned so far.
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James’ investigation is being conducted alongside that of new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who this week insisted his criminal investigation is making progress despite the recent resignations of two of the case’s lead prosecutors.