Judge Arthur Engoron said he would conditionally lift Trump’s contempt if Trump submits additional statements by May 20 outlining attempts to search the defendants’ data and explain his and his company’s policy of preservation of documents; the company he hired to assist the search completes its work; and he pays the fines.
Engoron found Trump disrespectful on April 25 and fined him $ 10,000 a day for failing to comply with documents in New York Attorney General Letitiu James’ investigation into his business practices, which she said had revealed evidence that Trump may have its misinterpreted value. properties such as skyscrapers and golf courses on accounting for more than a decade.
The total amount that Engoron sentenced Trump to pay is the amount of fines collected last Friday, when Trump’s lawyers submitted 66 pages of court documents describing his and his lawyers’ attempts to find the defendant’s documents. Engoron could recover the fine if the conditions he set on Wednesday are not met.
On Wednesday, it is also expected that the state Court of Appeals will hear an oral reasoning for Trump’s appeal in another case: Engoron’s ruling on February 17, in which he was to answer questions sworn in James’ investigation.
A message requesting comments was left with Trump’s lawyer.
James, a Democrat, asked Engoron to hold Trump disrespectful in court after he failed to present any documents to meet the March 31 deadline to meet the terms of the policy.
James’ office searched for a variety of documents, including paperwork and communications related to Trump’s accounts, financing and debt for a Chicago hotel project and development plans for his Seven Springs Estate north of New York City, and even communications with Forbes magazine, where he sought to burn his image as a wealthy businessman.
Alina Habba, Trump’s lawyer, said in the May 6 application that the answers to the policy were comprehensive and correct and that no relevant documents or information were withheld.
Habba searched the Trump offices and private homes at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, according to the documents, but found no relevant documents that had not already been made. produced. The report also conducted in-depth searches of other locations, including filing cabinets and storage areas at Trump’s offices in New York.
In a special affidavit accompanying the application, Trump said there were no relevant documents that had not already been produced.
He added that he owns two mobile phones: a personal iPhone that he presented in March to search for as part of the policy, then presented again in May; as well as another phone he recently got that is only used to post on Truth Social, the social media network he founded after his ban from Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.
Engoron’s grounds for dismissing the contempt were largely in line with conditions outlined by James’s office in its response to a lengthy briefing last week in which Trump and his legal team said they had completed attempts to locate the defendant.
These conditions requested by the James office were: Trump submitting another affidavit in which he and his company and his company kept and a policy of destruction for their documents and electronics; and allow an outside company hired by Trump, HaystackID, to go through 17 boxes stored in an on-site storage facility, and for that company to release a report of its findings and hand over all relevant documents.
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