May 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

New York judge orders Trump to pay $110,000 in civil contempt fines

Former President Trump speaking at a rally in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on May 6.

Former President Trump speaks at a rally in Greensburg, Pa., on May 6. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

A New York judge said Wednesday that former President Trump's civil contempt sanction as part of the state's investigation into his business will be lifted provided he soon meets certain conditions ordered by the court.

Driving the news: The judge ordered that Trump will be required to pay $110,000 in contempt fees to New York Attorney General Letitia James' office, which is investigating the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

  • Trump was found in civil contempt in April after refusing to turn over documents to James' office and was fined $10,000 every day he defied the court's order.
  • "For years, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization have tried to thwart our lawful investigation, but today’s decision makes clear that no one can evade accountability," James said in a statement.
  • "We will continue to enforce the law and seek answers as part of this investigation," James said.

Arthur Engoron, a judge of the Supreme Court 1st Judicial District in New York, ruled that the contempt finding would be lifted with the assumption that Trump and his company meet certain conditions by May 20.

  • The conditions include providing a description of the Trump Organization's document retention and destruction policy, and to review pages of documents tied to Trump that can be used as evidence, according to CNN.
  • The judge warned that the contempt finding would return if Trump fails to comply by the set date. Engoron also agreed to place Trump's fine in an escrow account until his contempt appeal is complete.

The big picture: The New York Attorney General's office has been investigating Trump Organization's business practices for over two years, including allegations that the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

  • In December and January, James issued subpoenas to compel Trump and his children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's investigation. A judge later ruled that the Trump family would have to comply, and the former president needed to turn over documentation.
  • Trump and members of his family have described the investigation as a "politically motivated attack."

Go deeper: Federal judge dismisses Trump's lawsuit against Twitter

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Go deeper