NY Court Rejects Trump’s Attempt to Thwart Investigation, Orders $110K Sanction

The New York state appeals court has ruled that former President Donald Trump is not above the law and must pay the state $110,000 for violating a court order. The ruling came after Trump attempted to stall and thwart a lawful investigation into his financial dealings.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement, “Today’s decision sends a clear message that there are consequences for abusing the legal system. We will not be bullied or dissuaded from pursuing justice.”[0]

The investigation was launched in September 2022 when James filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his company and three of his adult children, accusing them of widespread fraud involving years' worth of financial statements.[1]

Trump appealed an order from New York state Judge Arthur Engoron, who last year ordered Trump to be sanctioned $10,000 per day for failing to comply with a December 2021 subpoena as part of the state's investigation into the Trump Organization's finances.[0]

The five-justice panel ruling said the financial sanction “was a proper exercise of the court’s discretionary power and was not excessive or otherwise improper, under the particular circumstances.”[0]

The Attorney General's office is looking to impose not only financial penalties, but also to bar Donald Trump and his three children – Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump – from taking on any roles as officers of a company in New York, and to prevent the Trump companies identified in the suit from engaging in any business in the state of New York in the future.[2]

Trump paid the fine eventually, but contested Engoron's determination of contempt.[3]

Comment from The Trump Organization was not immediately available.[4]

The attorney general's office requested sanctions after many months of procrastination.[0]

Alina Habba, Trump's attorney, stated that no documents beyond the 10 already handed to investigators by the Trump Organization had been found following a search.[0]

Engoron labeled it a “boilerplate” and questioned whether Trump's team had investigated filing cabinets, agendas and other paperwork.[0]

An affidavit signed by Trump, in which he stated he no longer had cell phones and had authorized his attorneys to search his properties, resulted in the lifting of the contempt finding.[0] Subsequently, the attorneys signed affidavits outlining their searches and efforts to contact Trump's ex-assistants.[0]

0. “Trump must pay $110000 in sanctions to NY attorney general, court rules” WICZ, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.wicz.com/story/48381957/trump-must-pay-110000-in-sanctions-to-ny-attorney-general-court-rules

1. “Trump ordered to pay NY Attorney General for being in contempt” Daily Mail, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11750497/Trump-ordered-pay-NY-Attorney-General-contempt.html

2. “Donald Trump ‘not above the law’, New York attorney general says” The Guardian US, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/14/donald-trump-not-above-law-new-york-attorney-general

3. “Appeals court upholds $110,000 contempt fine for Trump in New York attorney general case” msnNOW, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/appeals-court-upholds-110-000-contempt-fine-for-trump-in-new-york-attorney-general-case/ar-AA17tfmN

4. “Trump must pay $110,000 in sanctions to NY attorney general, court rules – Local News 8” LocalNews8.com, 14 Feb. 2023, https://localnews8.com/news/2023/02/14/trump-must-pay-110000-in-sanctions-to-ny-attorney-general-court-rules