Court Upholds Trump's $110K Contempt Fine

'Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump is not above the law'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2022 2:57 PM CDT
Updated Feb 14, 2023 7:12 PM CST
Judge Halts Trump's $10K-a-Day Fines
Donald Trump speaks from the podium during a rally, Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Greenwood, Neb.   (Kenneth Ferriera/Lincoln Journal Star via AP, File)
UPDATE Feb 14, 2023 7:12 PM CST

An appeals court in New York has upheld an order finding former President Trump in civil contempt—and a $110,000 fine. Trump paid the $10,000-per-day fine to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James for non-compliance with a court order, but he went to court to try to get the money back, the BBC reports. The Appellate Division in Manhattan upheld the fine in a 5-0 decision, saying James had clearly established that Trump's response to the subpoena was inadequate, reports Reuters. "Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump is not above the law," James said in a statement. "Today's decision sends a clear message that there are consequences for abusing the legal system."

May 11, 2022 2:57 PM CDT

A judge in New York has halted the $10,000-per-day fines former President Trump has been racking up since he was held in contempt of court last month—but New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron's conditions for lifting the contempt order include payment of $110,000 in accrued fines. Engoron ruled Wednesday that the contempt order will be reinstated and fines retroactively applied if the conditions aren't met by May 20, the New York Times reports. The conditions also included an order for Trump and his team to submit additional affidavits detailing a search for records to comply with a subpoena, reports Politico.

The fines were initially paused on May 6, when Trump's lawyers submitted dozens of pages of documents detailing the search for records subpoenaed as part of New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation of his business dealings. James asked the court to hold Trump in contempt after he missed a March 31 deadline in the civil case. Trump has appealed the contempt ruling as well as a February decision from Engoron that ordered him to testify in the case, the Hill reports.

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Days after the contempt ruling, Engoron said an affidavit Trump submitted saying he didn't have the documents being sought was "completely devoid of any useful detail" and wondered why no Post-its had been submitted. In recent court documents, an outside company hired to help search for documents said it had reviewed more than 1,300 boxes of files at Trump Organization headquarters and elsewhere, the Times reports. Engoron said Wednesday that the firm needs to complete its work as part of the conditions of lifting the contempt order. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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