Updated Apr 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

New York AG seeks to fine Trump $10,000 per day for withholding evidence

Donald Trump speaks at a rally on April 02

Donald Trump speaks at a rally on April 2. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday filed a motion to hold former President Trump in contempt of court for refusing to turn over evidence as part of her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

What they're saying: "Despite a crystal clear order from the court, Donald Trump has refused to turn over documents as part of our investigation into him and the Trump Organization's financial dealings," James tweeted.

  • "We are seeking the court’s immediate intervention because no one is above the law," she added in a press release.
  • “The AG’s motion is completely baseless. President Trump left The Trump Organization in 2017 and any responsive documents were previously provided to the AG by The Trump Organization," a spokesperson for the Trump Organization told Axios.
  • "This is just more harassment and the latest chapter in the AG’s continued witch hunt," the spokesperson added.

The big picture: The motion, filed in New York's state Supreme Court, also seeks to impose a $10,000 daily fine on Trump for every day that he continues to withhold the evidence a state judge had ruled he must turn over.

  • Trump was due to turn over the requested documentation by March 3, but requested — and was granted — an extension until the end of March, at which point he "raised a new round of objections to the document requests," per the New York attorney general's statement.
  • "Under settled law, a party is not permitted to delay proceedings at this advanced juncture in the legal process to challenge an investigative subpoena, so Mr. Trump does not have the ability to raise these baseless objections at this time," the statement added.

State of play: In January, the attorney general's office filed a motion to compel Trump and his elder children, Don Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to appear for sworn testimony in her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

  • In February, a state judge ruled that Trump's family would have to comply with the testimony subpoena and that the former president would have to hand over the requested documentation.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from a spokesperson for the Trump Organization.

Go deeper