Judge on Trump's Contempt Charge: Where Are All the Post-Its?

Trump claims in affidavit he doesn't have docs sought by subpoena; Justice Arthur Engoron rejects that
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2022 6:00 AM CDT
Judge on Trump's Contempt Charge: Where Are All the Post-Its?
Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana)

(Newser) – Donald Trump's legal team continues to try to get him out of being held in contempt of court, but on Friday, a New York judge wasn't biting. On Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron held the former president in contempt and ordered him to pay a $10,000-a-day fine until he complied with a subpoena to provide relevant documents regarding the Trump Organization, part of a civil investigation being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. By Wednesday, Trump had signed an affidavit claiming he didn't think he had the documents being sought, instead directing the court to go get them directly from the Trump Organization—his attempt to purge the contempt finding and accompanying fine, per Reuters.

On Friday, Engoron shook his head at the affidavit. "He's Donald Trump, the most famous real estate developer in the world, arguably," Engoron said. "I am surprised he doesn't seem to have any documents; they're all with the organization." Engoron, who noted Trump's affidavit seemed to be signed in his signature Sharpie, pointed out that at the very least, he expected to see some Post-its submitted, as Trump is "famous for Post-its. When he wants something done, he puts a Post-it on something. I don't think we've received any Post-its." Engoron brought up the sticky notes because Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten had testified Trump uses them to communicate with employees, according to court records.

Trump attorney Alina Habba pushed back on that, saying, "You can fine us for 10 months but you're not going to get any more documents from Donald Trump. He doesn't have the documents that you want." Lawyers for James penned a letter to Engoron requesting he keep the contempt finding in place until more comprehensive searches are done for the documents, which they say should include searches of all Trump's mobile phones, all properties where he has a personal home or office, storage facilities, and "all electronic devices issued by the Trump Organization to Trump's executive assistants," per CNBC. Engoron said Friday he's keeping the contempt finding in place for now, noting Trump's affidavit "is completely devoid of any useful detail," such as where he kept his files and how they were stored. Habba says she'll continue to appeal the contempt order and fine. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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