Donald Trump is appealing the contempt of court order he received from a Manhattan judge that fines him $10,000 a day for failing to comply with a subpoena, according to documents filed Wednesday
The contempt order was issued in the civil investigation by New York state attorney Letitia James into the former president’s business practices. On 7 April, James asked Judge Arthur Engoron to hold Trump in contempt of court for not turning over documents and information she had subpoenaed as part of the investigation.
Trump had promised to comply “in full” by 31 March, but did not, James said. Engoron granted James’s request, fining him $10,000 a day.
James’ inquiry has been focused on whether the Trump Organization provided incorrect real estate valuation, to secure favorable loans as well as tax deductions. She recently stated that the office’ had uncovered “significant evidence” of wrongdoing.
The top prosecutor’s three-year investigation runs parallel to an inquiry by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, examining whether the Trump Organization engaged in questionable tax practices. Bragg’s office has come under fire after the departures of high-profile prosecutors on this inquiry. He has insisted that the investigation continues.
In a statement on the notice of appeal, James’s office said that Trump’s legal tactics would not thwart its inquiry. “The judge’s order was clear: Donald J Trump is in contempt of court and must pay $10,000 a day until he complies with our subpoenas. We’ve seen this playbook before, and it has never stopped our investigation of Mr Trump and his organization. This time is no different,” the office said.
Trump’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His attorney, Alina Habba, has previously called James’s inquiry “political”.
Habba reportedly told Engoron that she tried diligently to abide by the subpoena. She traveled to Florida to ask Trump if he had any documents that would be part of James’s request. “The contempt motion is inappropriate and misleading,” she said. “He complied ... There are no more documents left to produce by President Trump.”