New York Attorney General and governor candidate Letitia James and former President Donald Trump.
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images; Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A Manhattan judge found Donald Trump in contempt of court and ordered he pay a $10,000-a-day fine.
NY AG Letitia James had asked for the fine to “coerce” him into turning over personal business documents.
James is probing whether Trump fudged his numbers in applying for loans and tax breaks.
A Manhattan judge on Monday found that Donald Trump is in contempt of court and must pay a $10,000-a-day fine to the New York attorney general until he is in compliance with subpoenas that demand his personal business documents.
Trump has failed to show he has conducted “a proper, thorough search” for paperwork Attorney General Letitia James is seeking in her three-year probe of the former president’s real estate and branding company, the Trump Organization, the judge ruled.
“Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously,” New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron said from the bench. “But I take mine seriously.”
Engoron had hinted at how he was leaning earlier Monday, when he told one of AG’s Letitia James’s lawyers that it’s fully within Trump’s right to say that James already has everything she’s asked for — but that such an assertion is not enough.
“He can’t produce what he doesn’t have. But you can’t just say, ‘I don’t have anything,'” the judge said. “You have to say where you looked.”
The AG has complained in court documents as recently as Friday night that Trump has failed to say whether a search for documents has been made at specific locations of interest.
Those include Trump’s so-called “chron” files — meaning hardcopy documents stored in chronological order after having crossed Trump’s desk, as described to James’ office in a deposition last summer by Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten.
“Mr. Trump’s hard copy calendars” are also missing, the latest AG filing had noted.
So are “files located in cabinets outside Mr. Trump’s office,” in “the storage room by Mr. Trump’s office,” and in “the file cabinets located on the 25th and 26th floors,” the filing adds — apparent references to the Trump Organization headquarters in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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Source:: Business Insider