A New York judge has denied ex-President Donald Trump’s request to halt $10,000 daily fines after he was held in contempt of court for failing to cooperate with the state attorney general’s investigation into his business practices.
The fines ― reaching $90,000 as of Wednesday ― began mounting on April 26 after he defied a court order to produce documents sought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. James, a Democrat, is probing whether Trump misstated the value of his business assets, including skyscrapers and golf courses, on his financial statements for more than a decade.
Trump appealed the contempt ruling and asked to put the fines on hold until his case is decided. A day later, Appellate Division Judge Tanya Kennedy denied that request and referred the case to a panel of appellate judges to consider later.
Trump attorney Alina Habba insisted in a motion filed Monday that Trump and his representatives performed a “thorough and comprehensive” search for the requested documents and found nothing. She called the daily fine “exorbitant” and “wholly unjustified.”
Habba did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
This was the second time that Trump has lost an attempt to duck the contempt order. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron rejected Trump’s arguments last month and set the daily fine for missing the deadline for producing the documents.
“It is not sufficient simply to attach a list of people who participated in the searches,” the judge said of Trump’s defiance.
Engoron also noted that Trump’s continued failure to produce the documents “further prejudices” the attorney general, “as the statutes of limitations continue to run” for offenses that may be involved in the investigation.