Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, filed an appeal with the State Court’s Appellate Division on Wednesday, fulfilling her promise to appeal Monday’s decision by Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron.
Habba questioned the legal basis for Trump’s contempt, arguing in court filings that he duly responded to the subpoena and that the attorney general’s office failed to show that his behavior was “intended to thwart, impair, impede the investigation.” or to affect”. refused to engage in “good faith talks” before attempting to fine him.
“All subpoena documents were submitted to the Attorney General months ago,” Habba said in a statement following Engoron’s verdict.
Engoron said a contempt finding is appropriate because Trump and his attorneys have failed to show they conducted a proper search of records required by the subpoena.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, had asked the court to contempt Trump after he failed to produce documents to meet a court-imposed March 31 deadline to meet the terms of the subpoena.
Trump, a Republican, has fought James in court over her investigation, which he has described as a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
James has conducted a lengthy investigation into the Trump Organization, the former president’s family business, focusing on what it claims is a pattern of misleading banks and tax officials about the value of his property.
The judge’s contempt finding came despite a vigorous argument from Habba, who repeatedly insisted she was trying hard to comply with the subpoena and even traveled to Florida to specifically ask Trump if he had any documents in his possession which they would respond to the demand.
Habba noted that Trump doesn’t email or text and doesn’t have a work computer “at home or anywhere.” She described the search for documents as “diligent”.
James’ investigators have said in court filings that they found evidence Trump had misstated the value of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers in his financial statements for more than a decade.
At the hearing, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Amer said the investigation was being hampered “because we have no evidence from the person at the head of this organization.”
And he said the failure to release documents in response to the subpoena was “effective in causing Mr. Trump to turn his nose up at the order of this court.”
A parallel criminal investigation is being conducted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, also a Democrat.
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https://abc13.com/donald-trump-contempt-appeal-letitia-james-civil/11797087/ Former President Donald Trump is appealing the decision, which fined him $10,000 a day for contempt of court