Apr 25, 2022
This post has been updated.
New York Attorney General Letitia James marked a "major victory" in her case against former President Donald Trump Monday as a state judge held Trump in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena.
The former president will be fined $10,000 per day for allowing the New York state Supreme Court's March 31 deadline to pass without turning over documents related to the state's investigation into alleged financial fraud.
\u201c#BREAKING: In a major victory, a court has ruled in our favor to hold Donald Trump in contempt of court.\n\nDonald Trump must pay $10,000 per day for every day that he continues to defy the court's order to turn over documents to my office.\u201d— NY AG James (@NY AG James) 1650904850
"Today, justice prevailed," said James. "Our investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization's financial dealings will continue undeterred because no one is above the law."
James said in February that her office has obtained evidence that Trump and his real estate empire "used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit."
The documents that Trump has failed to provide to state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron include files that were kept outside the former president's office at the Trump Organization, in a storage room, in the executive office storage closet, and in other file cabinets.
James' office is also seeking records from three mobile devices used by the former president. The attorney general has made eight separate requests to Trump's team for the documents since the deadline passed.
"Donald Trump is not beyond the reach of this court's authority," said Assistant Attorney General Andrew Amer in court Monday. "Our patience is at an end, and so should the court's [be]."
Like the Manhattan district attorney's separate criminal case against Trump, James' investigation pertains to allegations that Trump's business committed fraud by intentionally misrepresenting their properties' values to potential lenders.
Engoron on Monday rebuked Trump and his legal team for failing to provide a sworn statement confirming that they had searched for the documents in question.
"I feel like there's an 800-pound gorilla in the room, and that is, why don't we have an affidavit from him?" Engoron said. "There is a difference between saying something and saying something under oath."
Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, are currently awaiting a decision regarding whether they will be required to give depositions in James' civil investigation. They were ordered to do so in February but appealed the order.
James' team said Monday that it may soon take "enforcement action," such as suing the Trump Organization, which could result in major financial penalties for the company.
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