New York attorney general files motion to hold Donald Trump in contempt of court
New York Attorney General Letitia James is asking the court to begin issuing fines to former President Donald Trump while he delays producing documents subpoenaed by the court.
James has asked a court to hold Trump in contempt for refusing to comply with a court order to produce the documents.
“The judge’s order was crystal clear: Donald J. Trump must comply with our subpoena and turn over relevant documents to my office,” James said in a statement. “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.”
The $10,000 fine would apply to every day that Trump doesn’t produce the documents.
“This court’s order was not an opening bid for a negotiation or an invitation for a new round of challenges to the subpoena,” wrote assistant attorney general Andrew Amer in the court documents, according to The Daily Beast. “The ship has long since sailed on Mr. Trump’s ability to raise any such objections.”
"The Trump Organization is not presently searching any of Mr. Trump's custodial files or devices, and has no intention of doing so between now and April 15, 2022," James' office wrote in the filing.
The Trumps have repeatedly tried to shut down the investigation by James, who has said she had uncovered "significant evidence" of fraudulent or misleading practices at the Trump Organization.
Following more than two hours of oral arguments, state judge Arthur Engoron rejected a plea by Trump, Donald Jr and Ivanka, to quash subpoenas issued by James in December.
He ordered the trio to sit for depositions with James's office within 21 days.
Their lawyers argued that the subpoenas in the civil case were an attempt by James to grab evidence for a parallel criminal investigation into the Trump Organization that she is involved with.
They argued that James was trying to bypass a New York state law that grants immunity to witnesses that appear before a grand jury in criminal cases.
Engoron said their argument "completely misses the mark," noting that neither the Manhattan district attorney, which is running the criminal investigation, nor James's office have ordered the Trumps to appear before a grand jury.
In his ruling, Engoron added that the Trumps could invoke their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves during questioning in the civil case.
He noted that another of Trump's sons, Eric, had pleaded the fifth "more than 500 times" during a deposition for James's investigation in October 2020.
Engoron also rejected Trump's claim that the inquiry by James, a Democrat, is politically motivated.
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