A New York state judge held former President Donald Trump in contempt of court on Monday as part of the ongoing investigation into his family business by New York Attorney General Letitia James, according to Politico.
The contempt order from Judge Arthur Engoron came in response to a request from James after the Trump Organization had, according to James, failed to turn over all financial records that had previously been subpoenaed with a deadline of March 31.
The former president will not face any jail time over the contempt charge but could face a $10,000 per day fine until the attorney general and the court is satisfied that all pertinent records that had been requested have been turned over.
Held in contempt
“Today, justice prevailed,” Attorney General James said in a statement Monday. “For years, Donald Trump has tried to evade the law and stop our lawful investigation into him and his company’s financial dealings. Today’s ruling makes clear: No one is above the law.”
Such an assertion is “misleading,” however, according to Trump attorney Alina Habba, Politico reported. She had argued in court that Trump was an “honest person” and that his organization had fully complied with a thorough search for all records relevant to the AG’s requests.
The Washington Post reported that Judge Engoron expressed his dissatisfaction with Habba’s “boilerplate” initial response to the subpoenas and that the alleged records search had been “woefully insufficient” in his view, and demanded to be fully informed of “who, what, when, where and how any search was conducted.”
AG James celebrates two victories
The Post noted that Attorney General James has been investigating allegations that the Trump Organization manipulated the value of its assets to both secure better rates for loans while also decreasing its tax burden.
More than 6 million documents have reportedly already been handed over as part of that probe, but James insists there are more to be found, such as handwritten notes from Trump himself, that have been kept secret.
Meanwhile, James actually appeared to win a double victory in her efforts against Trump on Monday, as Judge Engoron ordered real estate company Cushman & Wakefield to comply with subpoena requests for documents related to appraisals it had done previously for certain properties owned by the Trump Organization.
“For the second time today, a judge has made clear that no one is above the law,” James said in a separate press release. “Cushman & Wakefield’s work for Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization is clearly relevant to our investigation, and we are pleased that has now been confirmed by the court. Our investigation will continue undeterred.”
Order will be appealed
Trump has yet to issue any sort of statement in response to the adverse ruling on Monday, but his attorney Habba did say that the contempt order would be appealed, according to Politico.
Meanwhile, Trump’s attorneys had already appealed an order from Judge Engoron in February for the former president and his eldest daughter Ivanka and son Don Jr. to comply with requests for interviews with James’ office. Eric Trump is reported to have already complied with the interview request back in 2020.