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New York judge holds Trump in civil contempt over subpoena request for documents

The judge says Trump failed to comply with a subpoena for documents from the New York attorney general.

Published: April 25, 2022 12:53pm

Updated: April 25, 2022 1:12pm

A New York judge on Monday held former President Donald Trump in civil contempt after the state's attorney general's office said he failed to comply with a subpoena for documents, which are a part of the office's long-running investigation into the Trump Organization.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron said Trump did not meet the order he issued to comply with the subpoena and that the court would fine him $1,000 a day until he resolved the contempt ruling.

"Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously and I take mine seriously," Engoron said. "I hereby hold you in civil contempt and fine you $10,000 per day until you purge that contempt."

A representative of the New York Attorney General Letitia James' office said, "We are being hampered in our efforts to have a complete understanding because we don't have evidence from the person who sits at the top of the organization."

James' office has been investigating the business for more than two years, and has previously said that her office's work has found several misleading or fraudulent financial statements stemming from the organization that were provided to lenders and insurers. 

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, says her client is not in possession of the sorts of written communications that were sought by the  subpoena.

"President Trump does not email," she said. "He does not text message. And he has no work computer at home or anywhere else."

In court, Habba also argued that James' investigation has "seemingly become aimless," given that the organization has now produced 6 million pages of documents and more than a dozen witnesses have been deposed, among other aspects of the probe..

"The scope is continuously changing to fit the attorney general's needs. When it is not satisfied with the evidence it has obtained it pivots and looks for something new," she said.

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