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Politics

NY Judge Lifts Contempt Finding Against Trump, Orders Him To Pay $110,000, Outlines Conditions

Donald Trump Donald Trump
Donald Trump Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore
Trump Organization Trump Organization
Trump Organization Photo Credit: Unsplash/Tim Gouw
New York Attorney General Letitia James New York Attorney General Letitia James
New York Attorney General Letitia James Photo Credit: Twitter/@TishJames

A judge has lifted a civil contempt filing against former President Donald Trump - assuming certain conditions are met - and ordered him to pay $110,000 in fines to her office.

New York Attorney General Letitia James had announced on Monday, April 25, that Trump is being held in contempt of court by the New York State Supreme Court for failing to comply with previous orders to provide documents amid the ongoing investigation into his business dealings.

The judge at the time ordered that Trump be fined $10,000 daily, which the former president sought to fight.

In New York, Judge Arthur Engoron on Wednesday, May 11 set several conditions that Trump must meet before Friday, May 20, including providing sworn statements describing the Trump Organization's document retention and destruction policy as the investigation continues.

The judge also ordered a review of five boxes tied to the former president that were located in an off-site storage facility during the AG's investigation, as well as how Post-It notes - a popular mode of communication in Trump's White House - were handled, according to CNN

Engoron also permitted Trump to place the fines into an escrow account as he continues to appeal the ruling.

The daily $10,000 fees were dropped last week when Trump's attorneys submitted new sworn statements, including some from the former president, regarding efforts to comply with James' subpoenas. 

Trump has steadfastly attempted to thwart James’ office’s subpoenas that were issued as part of the investigation into financial fraud and misrepresentations involving his business.

If he does not meet the condition of the judge’s order by May 20, the $10,000 daily fine will be reinstated, according to Engoron.

“Reaffirming a ruling holding Donald J. Trump in contempt, a judge has ordered Mr. Trump to pay my office for his refusal to comply with our subpoenas,” James said. “For years, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization have tried to thwart our lawful investigation, but today’s decision makes clear that no one can evade accountability.

“We will continue to enforce the law and seek answers as part of this investigation.”

James previously said that her investigation, which began in 2019, found significant evidence that directly tied Trump and his two eldest children, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka, to allegedly over-inflated property values to secure financing on multiple occasions. They also allegedly lowered property values on some forms for tax agents but raised them to look better for financial lenders.

Specifically, they are examining a Trump property on Wall Street that Trump reportedly told lenders was worth $527 million, but instructed tax officials it was actually closer to $16 million.

The Seven Springs estate in Northern Westchester County, New York is also included in the ongoing investigation. 

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