New York Judge Lifts Contempt Order Against Trump in Civil Investigation

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Former President Donald Trump has been cleared of contempt of court, a New York judge ruled on June 29.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump in contempt in April for not responding to a subpoena issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who began investigating the Trump Organization in 2019.

On June 29, Engoron purged the contempt order after reviewing additional documents submitted by Trump’s legal team. Additionally, Engoron said the $110,000 fine that Trump paid as part of the contempt finding will continue to be held in an escrow account, while the former president appeals the initial contempt order.

Trump was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 per day in April, which added up to $110,000 by early May. The fine stopped accruing in early May following Engoron’s order.

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement that the original contempt ruling was “unwarranted.”

“Although we are pleased that the court has lifted the contempt finding, we maintain that it was wholly unwarranted and improper in the first place. We will push ahead with our appeal to secure justice for our client.”

In January, James said her office found “significant” new evidence showing that the Trump Organization had “used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits.” The Trump Organization manages hotels, resorts, golf courses, and other real estate properties.

However, Habba has previously said that James “has weaponized her office through this political witch hunt” and her actions are “a threat to our democracy.”

James, a Democrat, has been the state’s attorney general since 2018, when she defeated Keith Wofford, a Republican, in the general election. James was a candidate for the 2022 gubernatorial race in New York before suspending her campaign in December 2021.

Meanwhile, Trump said in a statement in April that James should allocate resources of her office to fight crimes in New York, rather than investigating his company.

By Frank Fang

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