A Manhattan judge held former President Donald Trump in civil contempt on Monday, slapping him with $10,000 fines a day for “repeated delays and failures” to comply with New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud 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” until you comply, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron said, addressing Trump, though he was not present for the hearing.
The judge admonished the former president for flouting a final deadline for Trump to provide all evidence James demanded from him. The AG says she has evidence his family company manipulated the value of its assets for financial gain. The investigation is winding down after three years.
Before Engoron announced his decision, lawyers from James’ office likened obtaining crucial documents from Trump and his business to “pulling teeth.”
“We are being deprived of evidence,” said Assistant Attorney General Andrew Amer. “Because we don’t have evidence from the person who sits at the top of this organization.”
Trump lawyer Alina Habba insisted the former president had handed over everything he had.
“President Trump does not email, he does not text message, and he has no work computer at home or anywhere else,” Habba said in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The New Jersey-based lawyer said she had flown to Mar-a-Lago to personally ask if there was “any possibility” of evidence that hadn’t been turned over.
“Donald Trump does not believe he’s above the law. He sat with me, he went through the documents personally,” said Habba. She later clarified that she “misspoke” and that Trump had authorized her to search for documents.
“My client is an honest person, much to the dismay of certain people in this room,” Habba replied.
©2022 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.