Judge holds Trump in civil contempt, fines him $10K per day until he turns over docs

Former President Donald Trump has been held in civil contempt by a New York judge and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 a day until he complies with the court’s orders to turn over documents requested in a sprawling financial fraud investigation under New York Attorney General Letitia James, who vowed to target Trump before taking office, calling him an “illegitimate president.”

“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,” New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron said, according to CBS News.

James is conducting a civil inquiry into whether the Trump Organization improperly manipulated its asset valuations for tax and business benefit, prompted by a claim made by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen during his testimony before Congress. James’ office said in February there is evidence “showing that Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit.”

Trump has denied the accusations and dismissed the investigation as being politically motivated.

In effect, James took to Twitter to spike the proverbial ball.

“#BREAKING: In a major victory, a court has ruled in our favor to hold Donald Trump in contempt of court. Donald Trump must pay $10,000 per day for every day that he continues to defy the court’s order to turn over documents to my office,” she tweeted.

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, who has called the investigation a “political crusade,” said in a statement that she would appeal the contempt finding.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision,” Habba said. “All documents responsive to the subpoena were produced to the attorney general months ago. The only issue raised by the attorney general at today’s hearing was with an affidavit submitted which copied the form mandated by the attorney general.”

“This does not even come close to meeting the standard on a motion for contempt and, thus, we intend to appeal,” she added.

Habba said in a legal filing last week that a search of records found that Trump “was not in possession of any documents responsive to the Subpoena and that all potentially responsive documents were in the possession, custody or control of the Trump Organization,” CBS reported.

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