Donald Trump has been held in contempt of court for failing to respond to a subpoena issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James as her office investigates his company’s potentially fraudulent financial practices.
Judge Arthur Engoron made the ruling on Monday, ordering Trump to pay a $10,000 fine every day that he fails to comply. “Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously,” Engoron said.
Engoron in February rebuffed Trump’s attempt to fight James’ subpoena, ordering that the former president and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka, must testify under oath for the civil case. “In the final analysis, a State Attorney General commences investigating a business entity, uncovers copious evidence of possible financial fraud, and wants to question, under oath, several of the entities’ principals, including its namesake,” Engoron wrote in his decision. “She has the clear right to do so.”
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Engoron in March ordered Trump to comply by the end of the month, but James claimed in early April that Trump hadn’t given her office any documents, and requested that he be held in contempt of court and fined $10,000 daily. Engoron agreed with her on Monday.
James has been investigating whether Trump Organization committed fraudulently inflated property valuations to secure loans, while at the same time minimizing the values for tax purposes. Trump has not only been fighting the probe in court, he’s been viciously attacking James at every chance he gets — including earlier this month on Easter Sunday. “Happy Easter to failed gubernatorial candidate and racist Attorney General Letitia James,” Trump wrote. “May she remain healthy despite the fact that she will continue to drive business out of New York while at the same time keeping crime, death, and destruction in New York!”
Trump’s legal team plans to appeal Engoron’s ruling on Monday. “All documents responsive to the subpoena were produced to the attorney general months ago,” Alina Habba, one of Trump’s attorneys, claimed on Monday, according to The New York Times. “This does not even come close to meeting the standard on a motion for contempt.”
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