Jan 26, 2023
Trump Request to Void $110,000 Contempt Fine Weighed by NY Court
(Bloomberg) -- A New York state appeals court is weighing former President Donald Trump’s bid to reverse a $110,000 penalty he was ordered to pay last year for being in contempt of court during the state’s probe of his business.
A panel of judges in Manhattan on Wednesday began considering written arguments submitted by Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who issued the subpoena that the former president allegedly flouted. Trump argues the penalty is “excessive and unjustified.”
Trump was held in contempt in April and fined $10,000 a day by a judge who concluded Trump hadn’t properly responded to a demand for any corporate documents in his personal possession. Trump had said there were no such documents, but the judge ruled he failed to explain the details of his search or provide a sworn affidavit on the result.
Trump “truthfully responded that he did not possess any of the requested corporate documents in his personal capacity, and that any such documents would be housed within the Trump Organization’s corporate offices,” his lawyer said in the brief. “Subsequent events would later validate that fact.”
James went on to sue Trump, his company and three of his children for allegedly manipulating the value of his assets for years to dupe banks and insurers. The $250 million lawsuit, which seeks to bar the Trumps from serving as executives at any New York company, goes to trial in October. The Trumps deny wrongdoing.
Read More: Trump, Lawyer Hit With $937,989 Sanctions in Clinton Case
The court is weighing Trump’s challenge to the contempt fine less than a week after he dropped his appeal of another ruling dismissing a suit he’d filed against James challenging her right to investigate him. Trump also voluntarily dismissed a suit he filed against James in federal court in Florida.
James said in a brief that the fine was justified because of Trump’s “willful disobedience” in responding to subpoenas during a three-year probe. She also said Trump may have been trying to “run out the statute of limitations” for the attorney general’s office, or OAG.
“Mr. Trump’s failure to comply with the subpoena was thus calculated to impede OAG’s efforts to gather a complete picture of the Trump Organization’s fraud and of various individuals’ roles in the fraud—including Mr. Trump’s role,” James said in her brief. “In doing so, the contempt also attempted to obscure inquiry into whether, when, how, and by whom information responsive to OAG’s subpoena may have been discarded.”
Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, claims the suit is politically motivated.
The case is People of New York v. Trump, 2022-01812, Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division (Manhattan).
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
BNN Bloomberg Picks
What happens if you mistakenly get a larger tax refund?
Is your retirement portfolio ready for what's to come?
Canadians are staring a recession in the face: David Rosenberg
Canadians' wages kept growing in February: StatsCan
Travel stocks: Three hot picks from Michael Bellisario
What mortgage owners need to know about the Bank of Canada's rate pause