Court Denies Trump’s Appeal to Halt Daily $10,000 Contempt of Court Fine

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
May 4, 2022 Updated: May 4, 2022

Former President Donald Trump’s appeal to suspend a $10,000-a-day fine levied against him for contempt of court was denied on Tuesday by a New York appellate court.

The decision by Judge Tanya Kennedy of the appellate division of the state’s trial court means that Trump will have to continue paying the daily penalty while he challenges a lower-court ruling that he failed to turn over documents to the state in response to a subpoena.

New York state court Judge Arthur Engoron initially ruled in April that the Republican businessman violated a court order by missing a March 31 deadline to respond to New York Attorney General Letitia James’s subpoena demanding he turn over any records relating to the business practices of his family company, the Trump Organization.

James says that her office has uncovered “significant evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years.”

Trump has already handed over millions of records as part of the investigation.

Lawyers for Trump filed the latest appeal on Monday, shortly after Engoron denied a request to reverse the daily fine which was also issued by him.

Trump took aim at James and her investigation in a statement following Tuesday’s decision by the New York appellate court, branding it “biased, unyielding, and totally unfair.”

“After handing over millions of pages of documents, perhaps more than any person or entity has ever given before, there is nothing that can be done to satisfy the racist Attorney General of New York State, failed Gubernatorial candidate Letitia James, or the New York State Courts which are biased, unyielding, and totally unfair,” Trump said.

“With rampant and record-setting crime, a 42.8% increase over last year was just announced, and every other unimaginable problem, no wonder everyone is leaving the State, including businesses left and right.”

His attorney Alina Habba on Monday called the fine “patently improper and impermissible by law.”

Habba previously insisted that her client was not in possession of any personal records relating to the subpoena, which include all electronic devices issued by the Trump Organization to Trump’s executive assistants and his own mobile phone records, among others.

The attorney has told Engoron in additional documents that Trump and his representatives had performed a “diligent, thorough, and comprehensive search” for everything being sought in the subpoena.

She also said that she had met with Trump personally to make sure that he had no records that were being summoned in the subpoena and was satisfied that there were not. Trump in an affidavit also said he was not in possession of such documents.

“Given these circumstances, it is unconscionable and indefensible for Appellant to be held in contempt in any manner, must less at the inordinate expense of $10,000 per day,” she said.

But Engoron criticized the affidavit as lacking in detail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.