Donald Trump to be fined £7,851 per day after being held in contempt by US judge

Mr Trump failed to produce documents subpoenaed in the state attorney general's civil probe of his business practices

Published

A New York judge has held Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to produce documents subpoenaed in the state attorney general's civil probe of his business practices.

As a result, the judge has ordered Mr Trump to be fined $10,000 (£7,851) per day until he complies.

Mr Trump had attempted to quash the subpoena from State General Letitia James, before failing to produce all documents by a March 31 deadline.

The court had previously moved the deadline back from March 3 at his lawyer’s request.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Demonstrators gathered outside of the New York County Supreme Court
Demonstrators gathered outside of the New York County Supreme Court

But now Justice Arthur Engoron has issued a contempt finding at the New York Supreme Court because of what he described as “repeated failures” to produce the documents.

Mr Engoron said: "Mr. Trump … I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously. I hereby hold you in civil contempt.”

Should Mr Trump fail to pay the fine, he could be jailed under a New York state provision.

Ms James is investigating whether the Trump Organisation, the former president's New York City-based family company, misstated the values of its real estate properties to obtain favourable loans and tax deductions.

Mr Trump denies wrongdoing and has called the investigation politically motivated.

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Mr Trump and the company, said at the hearing that James' investigation was a "fishing expedition" and that the Trump Organisation was "right on schedule" with its production of documents.

"This is a political crusade," Habba said. "The attorney general's investigation has seemingly become aimless."

Andrew Amer, special litigation counsel with the attorney general's office, said the daily fine was meant to coerce Mr Trump into complying with the documents, not punish him.

Ms James has said her probe had found "significant evidence" suggesting that for more than a decade the company's financial statements "relied on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure economic benefits."

On the day of the decision, a handful of Anti-Trump demonstrators gathered outside the court, holding banners of "Hold Trump in contempt" and "Trump is corrupt".