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Trump loses bid to raise contempt cost regardless of swearing he can't discover subpoenaed paperwork

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Former President Donald Trump appears to be like on earlier than talking throughout a tour to an unfinished part of the border wall on June 30, 2021 in Pharr, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

A New York choose Friday denied a request by attorneys for former President Donald Trump to raise a contempt of court docket discovering regardless of the submission of latest sworn affidavits from Trump and his attorneys that argue he has complied with a subpoena from the state legal professional normal.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron stated that the brand new affidavits testifying to Trump’s and others’ lack of ability to find paperwork sought by Attorney General Letitia James weren’t adequate to purge Trump of being held in contempt.

In a letter to Engoron, attorneys for James stated that he mustn’t raise the contempt order, which has a $10,000-per-day superb in opposition to Trump hooked up to it, till extra intensive searches for the paperwork are performed than those Trump’s attorneys stated had been finished.

That search, the AG’s attorneys stated, ought to embody all of Trump’s cellphones, Trump Tower in Manhattan, every of Trump’s properties the place he maintains a “private residence” and “personal office,” off-site storage places, and in “all electronic devices issued by the Trump Organization to Trump’s executive assistants.

Engoron’s ruling upholding his contempt order was issued at a hearing called on such short notice that it was not publicly announced by the court.

The hearing came four days after Engoron found Trump in contempt for failing to turn over documents to James by the March 31 deadline set by the judge for compliance to the subpoena.

James’ civil investigation is eyeing claims that the Trump Organization improperly manipulated the stated valuations of various real estate assets for financial gain.

Engoron on Tuesday ordered that Trump immediately begin paying a $10,000-per-day fine as a result of the contempt finding.

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On Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers filed affidavits in court under seal from themselves and Trump, saying they had been unable to locate the documents James wants to see.

“In accordance and compliance with the [contempt] Order, it’s respectfully requested that this Court purge the discovering of civil contempt,” Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba wrote in that filing.

Engoron at a hearing Monday had questioned why Trump had not previously submitted an affidavit personally but instead relied on Habba to make the claim that he could not find the documents.

In his two-sentence affidavit signed in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump said that “to the most effective of my information, I shouldn’t have any of the paperwork requested within the subpoena … in my private possession.”

Trump added that if there are any relevant records remaining, “I imagine they might be within the possession of custody of the Trump Organization.”

That echoes what his lawyer Habba previously told Engoron.

Habba and another attorney from her firm, Michael Madaio, in separate affidavits filed Wednesday, said that after conducting a comprehensive search, they found that Trump did not possess any additional documents that could be provided in response to eight categories of records demanded in James’ subpoena.

“Respondent’s productions and responses to the Subpoena are full and proper to the most effective of my information and perception,” Habba wrote.

“No paperwork or info aware of the Subpoena have been withheld from Respondent’s manufacturing and response.

Habba earlier this week appealed Engoron’s contempt discovering. That attraction has but to be heard.

Habba didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon Engoron’s newest ruling.

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