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Judge convicts Donald Trump of contempt of court in New York court battle


NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge found former President Donald Trump in contempt of court and imposed daily fines of $10,000 on Monday for failing to respond adequately to a subpoena issued by the state attorney general in a civil investigation into his business. relationships.

Judge Arthur Engoron said a finding of contempt was appropriate because Trump and his attorneys had failed to show they conducted a proper search of the records sought by the subpoena.

“Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously and I take mine seriously,” Engoron said in a Manhattan courtroom packed with reporters. “I hold you in civil contempt and fine you. $10,000 a day” until the conditions of the subpoena are met.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, had asked the court to hold Trump in contempt after he missed a court-mandated March 31 deadline to deliver documents.

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Trump, a Republican, fought James in court over his investigation, which he called a politically motivated “witch hunt.” During closing arguments on Monday, Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said “Donald Trump doesn’t think he’s above the law.”

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.

“Today justice prevailed,” James said in a statement after Engoron’s ruling. “For years, Donald Trump has tried to evade the law and stop our legal investigation into him and his company’s financial dealings. Today’s decision is clear: no one is above the law.

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.

“The contempt motion is improper and misleading,” she said. “He complied. … There are no more documents for President Trump to produce.

She also called the James investigation ‘political’ and ‘really a fishing expedition’, saying Trump and his companies turned over more than 6 million documents and related documents to 103 Trump entities over an eight-year period. .

“We got everything back in place as quickly as possible. It is a waste of judicial resources,” Habba added.

Trump spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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.

A parallel criminal investigation is being led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, also a Democrat.


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