A decision placing Donald Trump in civil contempt for disobeying a subpoena issued by Letitia James, the New York attorney general, in her investigation into his business operations, was upheld by a state appeals court in New York, ABC News reports.
The Appellate Division in Manhattan decided in a 5-0 judgment that James had proven, via “clear and convincing evidence,” that Trump’s response to the December 1, 2021 demand was insufficient.
The court ruled that Trump’s assertion that a thorough search had failed to turn up any pertinent documents in his possession, without providing any details regarding the precautions taken to ensure nothing was misplaced or thrown away, “prejudicially violated the lawful, clear mandate of the court, of which he had knowledge.”
The state court judge in Manhattan who is in charge of the matter, Justice Arthur Engoron, was given permission to levy a $10,000-day fee until Trump cooperated with the demand, the court stated.
Trump racked up $110,000 in penalties, which he subsequently paid.
Reuters informed that requests for a response from the former American president’s attorneys were unanswered right away.
There are repercussions for exploiting the legal system, James claimed of Tuesday’s ruling.
In September, the attorney general filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his three eldest adult children, and the Trump Organization over an alleged ten-year plan to manipulate asset prices and Trump’s net worth in order to obtain better terms from lenders and insurers.
She demanded fresh sanctions against Trump last month, claiming that his statements that he didn’t have enough information to defend against numerous particular charges in the complaint were “demonstrably false,” inflammatory, or in any other way unlawful.
James’ investigation has been dubbed a politically motivated witch hunt by Trump, Reuters reported.
After a Florida court fined Trump and his attorney $937,989 for bringing a “totally bogus” lawsuit alleging Hillary Clinton of attempting to rig the 2016 U.S. presidential election, he halted two legal challenges to James’ complaint last month.
Until Trump deposits a $1.03 million bail for a potential appeal, the sanctions remain on hold.