A New York State Supreme Court judge holds former President Donald Trump in civil contempt today. The ruling comes after Trump failed to comply with a subpoena issued in December by the New York attorney general’s office.
As CBS News reports:
“Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously, I hereby hold you in civil contempt and fine you $10,000 a day,” said New York Supreme Court judge Arthur Engoron.
James’ office asked for the contempt finding after Trump failed to meet a court-ordered March 31 deadline to turn over subpoenaed material, claiming he had none of the documents demanded in the civil probe.
A senior counsel with the attorney general’s office compared getting documents about the ex-president’s finances to “pulling teeth.”
Trump attorney Alina Habba said she personally oversaw the search for documents, including flying to Florida to interview Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club.
Habba maintained that Trump wasn’t thumbing his nose at the court’s order. She claimed that he did not have the type of written communications sought by the subpoena and therefore couldn’t provide anything more.
For Engoron, Habba’s argument raised more questions than answers.
At one point, he asked her why she didn’t document the Mar-a-Lago interview.
“I feel like there’s an 800-pound gorilla in the room, and that is, why don’t we have an affidavit from him?” Engoron asked, later adding, “There is a difference between saying something and saying something under oath.”
James’ civil investigation parallels Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal investigation of the Trump Organization.
Both James and Bragg are Democrats. James stunned the political world last year when she abandoned her campaign for governor to focus on the investigations and cases under her supervision. Even though two leading prosecutors in its case against Trump recently resigned, Bragg’s office has continued its criminal investigation.