A New York judge has said that he would lift a civil contempt ruling against former President Donald Trump on the condition that he pays a $110,000 fine to the New York Attorney General’s Office for not complying with a subpoena.
Judge Arthur Engoron said in a May 11 virtual hearing that a $10,000-per-day fine that was imposed on Trump in late April stopped accruing on May 6, when the former president filed court papers saying that he had taken steps to find documents in connection to Attorney General Letitia James’s investigation, according to reporters.
Engoron said Trump has until May 20 to comply with the conditions.
In an affidavit filed on May 6, Trump said he doesn’t “know the whereabouts” of materials that James is seeking, including several smartphones.
“I am not currently in possession of any Trump Organization-issued phones, computers or similar devices,” he said. “I believe the last phone or device I was issued by the Trump Organization was a cellphone in 2015. I no longer have the cellphone in my possession and I am not aware of its current location.
“Since January 1, 2010, I previously owned two flip phones and a Samsung mobile phone. I do not have the two flips [sic] phones in my possession and I do not know their current whereabouts.”
The former president said that when he came to the White House in 2017, the Samsung “was taken from me at some point while I was president” and that he doesn’t have it in his possession.
His attorney, Alina Habba, said Trump has “made extraordinary efforts to comply with the [attorney general’s] subpoena, which not only satisfy, but far exceed his obligations by law.”
James is investigating whether The Trump Organization committed fraud by allegedly inflating the value of its assets for monetary gain. Trump and other members of the company have categorically denied the claims.
James, a Democrat, has previously said her office has found “significant evidence indicating that The Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years.” She has also alleged that the former president’s children have “all been closely involved in the transactions in question.”
In a phone interview with Bloomberg News earlier this month, Trump said the contempt charge and daily fine were “unfair.”
“We have a judge that frankly has been unbelievably unfair,” Trump said. “We’ve given millions and millions of pages and he says, ‘give more, give more, always give more.'”
The Epoch Times has contacted The Trump Organization for comment.
From The Epoch Times