Trump Appeals Decision to Fine Him $10K Per Day

New York judge held former president in contempt of court in civil case Monday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2022 1:01 PM CDT
Updated Apr 27, 2022 11:30 AM CDT
Judge Holds Trump in Contempt of Court
Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana)

Update: As expected, former President Trump has appealed a New York judge's decision to hold him in contempt of court and fine him $10,000 per day for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents in a civil case. The AP reports Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba, argued that Trump responded properly to the subpoena, providing "all documents responsive to the subpoena ... months ago." Habba further said the attorney general's office had failed to show Trump's conduct "was calculated to defeat, impair, impede, or prejudice" the investigation and had refused to engage in "good-faith discussions” prior to trying to have him fined. CNN notes the $10,000 daily fine kicked in Tuesday, but he may not have to begin paying until the appeal is decided on. Our original story from Monday follows:

"Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously," a judge in New York said Monday, holding the former president in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents in a civil case. Justice Arthur Engoron cited "repeated failures" to produce documents and ordered Trump to pay a fine of $10,000 per day until he complies, Reuters reports. New York Attorney General Letitia James had asked the court to hold Trump in contempt after he missed a March 31 deadline in the case, reports the AP.

James has said the civil investigation of Trump's business dealings has found evidence that the Trump Organization "relied on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure economic benefits." Trump, who has described James' investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt," has denied wrongdoing. The Manhattan district attorney's office is leading a separate criminal investigation. Trump wasn't present at Monday's hearing. Trump attorney Alina Habba said some of the written documents investigators are seeking from the former president don't exist, CNN reports.

"President Trump does not email. He does not text message. And he has no work computer at home or anywhere else," Habba said. "I took it upon myself to get on a plane and flew down and asked him one by one if there was anything that he had on his person that he had not given me I would need," said Habba. "And he did not." Habba said the Trump Organization has turned over millions of documents over the last three years to an investigation that has "seemingly become aimless." The judge asked Habba why she didn't document her interview with Trump, saying the lack of an affidavit was like an "800-pound gorilla in the room," CBS reports. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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