Contempt Motion Filed Against Trump Seeking Thousands In Daily Fines

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New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is seeking to get Donald Trump held in contempt of court and fined $10,000 a day as he continues his refusal to comply with a subpoena issued as part of her civil investigation into the Trump family business. That investigation has focused on issues including the business’s apparent falsification of its financial condition in statements to interests including potential lenders; James previously revealed her civil investigation has turned up evidence “indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions.” The subpoena driving James’s push to hold Trump in contempt demands a range of documents.

The subpoena behind James’s contempt push would appear to be different from a subpoena that was recently the subject of an agreement under which Trump’s company would complete its compliance by the end of April. That subpoena was issued years ago — the one behind James’s contempt push, however, apparently arrived late last year. (According to James’s office’s telling, Trump also raised objections to the subpoena behind the Attorney General’s contempt push on March 31, after an end-of-April compliance timeline for the seemingly different subpoena was already decided.) Either way, James is clearly uninterested in going along with the former president’s attempts at obstruction. She remarked as follows this week:

‘The judge’s order was crystal clear: Donald J. Trump must comply with our subpoena and turn over relevant documents to my office. Instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it. We are seeking the court’s immediate intervention because no one is above the law.’

Trump was required to surrender materials subject to the order referenced by James by March 3, although James’s office agreed on an extension of the deadline to the last day of the month. “Mr. Trump agreed to this timeline and never sought to challenge this aspect of the order on appeal,” James’s team explains. “However, on March 31, 2022, Mr. Trump raised a new round of objections to the document requests in the subpoena and stated that he would not produce any documents responsive to [James’s] subpoena, in direct violation of the judge’s order. Under settled law, a party is not permitted to delay proceedings at this advanced juncture in the legal process to challenge an investigative subpoena, so Mr. Trump does not have the ability to raise these baseless objections at this time.” James is also seeking testimony from the ex-president and two of his adult children, including Ivanka and Donald Jr. (Eric already testified.)  As summarized by The New York Times, James “said that by questioning [Donald, Don Jr., and Ivanka], she would be able to determine who was responsible for the misstatements and omissions that the organization made in its financial documents.”