Trump’s attorney Alina Habba filed a notice of appeal Wednesday with the state trial court’s appellate division, honoring her promise to challenge Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling, handed down Monday. .
Habba questioned the legal basis for Trump’s contempt, arguing in court papers that he correctly responded to the subpoena and that the attorney general’s office failed to show that his conduct “was calculated. to frustrate, obstruct, obstruct or interfere” with the investigation and refused to engage in “good faith discussions” before seeking a fine.
“All documents responding to the subpoena were produced to the attorney general months ago,” Habba said in a statement after Engoron’s decision.
Engoron said a finding of contempt was appropriate because Trump and his attorneys failed to show that they conducted a proper search of the records sought by the subpoena.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, had asked the court to hold Trump in contempt after he failed to produce any documents to meet a court-imposed March 31 deadline to meet the terms of the assignment.
Trump, a Republican, fought James in court over his investigation, which he called a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
James conducted a lengthy investigation into the Trump Organization, the former president’s family business, centering on what it claimed was a pattern of deceiving banks and tax authorities about the value of its properties.
The judge’s finding of contempt came despite a heated argument from Habba, who repeatedly insisted she had gone to great lengths to comply with the subpoena, even going to court. Florida to specifically ask Trump if he had any documents in his possession that would be sensitive to the request.
Habba noted that Trump doesn’t email or text and doesn’t have a work computer “at home or anywhere else.” She called the search for documents “diligent”.
James investigators said in court papers they uncovered evidence Trump may have misstated the value of assets such as golf courses and skyscrapers in his financial statements for more than a year. decade.
During the hearing, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Amer said the investigation was being hampered “because we don’t have evidence from the person at the top of this organization.”
And he said the failure to deliver the documents in response to the subpoena was “in effect Mr. Trump thumbing his nose at the order of this court.”
A parallel criminal investigation is being led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, also a Democrat.
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