New York Judge Lifts Contempt Ruling Against Trump

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(WABNEWS) — A New York judge on Wednesday lifted the civil contempt sentence against former President Donald Trump, assuming certain conditions are met, and ordered him to pay a $110,000 fine.

Judge Arthur Engoron set several conditions that he said must be met by May 20 or he will reinstate the contempt ruling and possibly apply it retroactively. Those conditions include submitting affidavits outlining the Trump Organization’s document retention and destruction policy, including how Post-it notes were handled, and completing the review of five boxes linked to Trump that were located in an off-site storage facility. A written decision is expected to be issued later Wednesday.


The judge also agreed to allow Trump to place the fine in an escrow account until the former president’s appeal of the contempt ruling is complete.

But he told Trump’s lawyer: “I want the fine paid. That fine is now $110,000.”

The judge stopped the clock on the fine beginning last Friday, when Trump’s attorneys filed additional affidavits, including one from Trump, about his effort to comply with the New York Attorney General’s subpoena for the records. .

The New York Attorney General’s Office moved to hold Trump in contempt after he failed to comply with a subpoena for documents issued in December 2021. The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the accuracy of financial statements the Trump Organization provided to lenders, insurers and to obtain tax benefits.

At a hearing Wednesday, Andrew Amer, an attorney for the state, focused on the issue of the Post-it notes, which Trump is known to have used to communicate with his staff, and whether they were delivered.

“To our knowledge, we haven’t seen any documents that have Post-its. And that’s one of the strange things about the document submission to date, given the claims that it was a media outlet for Mr. Trump,” Ames said. He argued that the handling of Post-it notes should be included in the document retention and destruction policy.

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said she was told by the general counsel of the Trump Organization that all the Post-it notes had already been submitted to the US Attorney’s Office.

“It’s kind of funny,” he told the judge, holding up a stack of Post-its. “I don’t have a formal Post-it practice, do you?”

The judge said they could start a new practice in the law: the Post-it affidavit.

The judge said he also wanted Trump’s attorneys to address any efforts to reach former Trump executive aides and whether they could be located.

On Friday, Trump filed an updated affidavit with the judge, saying that he no longer had Trump Organization-issued phones and that he had surrendered his personal phone to be searched. Habba said that she personally searched every nightstand, desk and cabinet at Trump’s properties and that she did not find any documents sought by the subpoena.



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