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Donald Trump held in contempt over failure to turn over documents to New York AG

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Former US President Donald Trump suffered a legal blow this week in the investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James. A judge ordered to hold the former president in contempt over his failure to turn over the documents that James is seeking.

A judge in New York ruled in favor of James Monday to hold Trump in contempt and fined him $10,000 a day for every day that he does not comply with the subpoena that James issued. The written order of New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engeron would be issued Tuesday. The former president’s attorney Alina Habba said that they plan to appeal the ruling.

“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,” said Engeron during the hearing.

James’s office requested the contempt finding after the former president failed to comply with a court-ordered March 31 deadline in turning over the subpoenaed records. Contrary to Trump’s claims, James’s office did not receive any documents.

Habba said she personally saw the search for the documents, including traveling to Florida to speak with the former president at his Mar-a-Lago residence. However, Engeron pointed out that the response only raised more questions about the former president’s response to James’s subpoena, asking the Trump attorney why she did document her conversation with Trump.

James’s civil investigation is in cooperation with the now-stalled criminal probe into the Trump Organization by the Manhattan District Attorney.

Following the ruling by the judge to hold Trump in Contempt, the former president’s former fixer Michael Cohen revealed that he saw the documents that James is seeking, noting that he knows such records exist as he has handed over the documents to the Manhattan DA’s office.

Cohen explained that he gave the documents to Manhattan DA prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, who abruptly resigned, expressing frustration toward the newly-elected DA Alvin Bragg’s refusal to press charges on the former president at this time.

Bragg disputed the claims by Dunne and Pomerantz earlier this month. Bragg succeeded DA Cyrus Vance Jr, who launched the investigation in 2018.

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