A New York appeals court ruled on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump was “correctly” charged with contempt last year for not handing over the documents claimed in a subpoena by the state attorney general.
Trump paid $110,000 in fines related to the contempt order, but also appealed the decision. The money has since been blocked.
On April 25, 2022, finding of contempt came after contesting a subpoena seeking documents related to his personal finances and the financing of several properties. Trump claimed he had no documents responding to the subpoena, leading Judge and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office to ask his attorneys for a detailed explanation of the case. how they conducted their research.
New York judge Arthur Engoron found Trump’s team failed to adequately explain how they searched for documents and fined Trump $10,000 a day – a penalty that eventually totaled $110. $000 as his attorneys first filed explanations of their attempts to find the subpoenaed documents.
The appeals court wrote in its ruling on Tuesday that Engoron “correctly determined” that Trump “violated the court’s clear legal mandate, of which he was aware.”
After the contempt finding, the attorney general demanded affidavits from two dozen Trump Organization employees and attorneys in a bid to find out how the company apparently kept almost no records of his son’s personal finances. namesake.
Almost all of the employees who filed affidavits said the company had few concrete policies regarding the destruction and retention of documents related to Trump’s personal finances, leaving those decisions to individual employees.
These statements mirrored what Trump had said in his own affidavit, that “it is my practice to delegate records management and retention responsibilities to my executive assistants.”
Trump lawyer Alina Habba defended his efforts in a June 8 letter to Engoron, writing that “a large number” of documents showing Trump’s ‘handwritten notes’ had been given by the Trump Organization. Habba’s letter was accompanied by eight exhibits that include several photos of golf legend Gary Player, on which Trump wrote “Great,” and several legal and design documents in which he wrote “OK.” There was also a note from her daughter on a planning document related to a Trump property in Doral, Florida.
Habba did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
James said in a statement to the media that “for years” Trump “has tried to block and thwart our legal investigation into his financial dealings.”
“Today’s decision sends a clear message that there are consequences for abusing the justice system,” James said.
The contempt finding came in the final months of an investigation dating back to 2018. In September 2022, James’ office filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, three of his children and the company. A civil trial in the lawsuit, which also seeks to end the company’s New York operations, is expected to begin in October.
The Trumps denied any wrongdoing and said the investigation was politically motivated.