The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James has asked a state judge to hold former President Donald Trump in contempt and fine him $10,000 per day until he complies.
James' office made the request today (7 April) on claims Trump had failed to adhere to a previous ruling relating to a long-running civil investigation into the finances of his company, the Trump Organization.
Trump, along with his children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, was ordered to appear for a deposition in the probe on 17 February. He appealed the order to appear, but did not challenge part of the ruling which demanded he comply with a subpoena 'seeking documents and information'.
Both sides agreed Trump would comply with the demands by 31 March, however James claimed on Thursday Trump had failed to comply with the order and only recently raised objections to it.
In a statement cited by CBS News, James said: "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."
My office is filing a motion to hold Donald Trump in contempt of court.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 7, 2022
Despite a crystal clear order from the court, Donald Trump has refused to turn over documents as part of our investigation into him and the Trump Organization's financial dealings.
The attorney general asked the judge to issue an order of contempt against Trump and to fine him $10,000 a day until he complies with the ruling.
James' office claimed Trump's attorneys had indicated he would not produce any of the documents 'because his counsel (based on search efforts that have not been divulged) could not find any', and that Trump and the Trump Organization hindered the efforts of the company HaystackID which had been hired to collect documents and data.
Donald Trump should be fined $10,000 per day for every day that he continues to violate the court’s order to provide these documents to my office.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) April 7, 2022
No one is above the law.
"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.
The request to the judge comes after the attorney general's office claimed in February that its investigation had gathered evidence showing Trump and the Trump Organization 'used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit'.
Trump and his company have denied the allegations of wrongdoing, with the former president having previously described himself as an 'aggrieved and innocent party' in an interview with CBS News, and referred to the investigation as a 'witch-hunt'.
In a February court filing, the Trump Organization claimed it had been 'producing thousands of documents each week' for the investigation and keeping the attorney general's office 'updated on its progress with weekly progress reports'.
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