Trump is still held in contempt by Judge despite his swearing that he does not have any documents

A New York judge ruled Friday that Donald Trump is still in contempt of the court despite a swear filing by Trump stating that he doesn’t possess any documents being subpoenaed to him by New York Attorney-General Letitia James.

Trump was held in contempt by the judge on Monday, and fined $10,000 per day, for failing to turn over the documents.

Trump appealed against the contempt finding and filed three affidavits Wednesday in which he claimed that his lawyers had searched for documents as a response to James’ extensive civil fraud investigation.

“To the best of my knowledge, I do not have any of the documents requested in the subpoena dated December 1, 2021 in my personal possession, and if there are any documents responsive to the subpoena I believe they would be in the possession or custody of the Trump Organization,” Trump stated in the filing.

A judge at the New York Supreme Court Arthur Engoron declared Friday that Mr. Trump had not yet expunged his contempt. “

“Mr. Trump’s personal affidavit lacks any useful details,” Engoron stated in his ruling. The judge asked Trump to file a Jackson affidavit, which is a thorough recounting of the searches and what was done. This is usually required when subpoenaed documents are not found. The subpoena requested documents regarding Trump’s finances and information about the financing of multiple properties.

James’ office asked for the contempt finding after Trump failed to meet a court-ordered March 31 deadline to turn over subpoenaed material.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba claimed that she was responsible for the document search and would provide a detailed account to the court. But that promise came too late for New York Supreme Court judge Arthur Engoron.

“Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously, I hereby hold you in civil contempt and fine you $10,000 a day,” Engoron said before banging his gavel.

Habba said in her affidavit that she searched several locations at the Trump Organization and interviewed Trump at Mar-a-Lago on March 17.

Andrew Amer was an attorney for James and stated in a reply filing that Trump’s explanations weren’t good enough to invalidate the contempt finding.

He said there has been no effort to search Trump’s electronic devices, and described Habba’s efforts as “insufficient.”

“Ms. Habba must identify all of Trump’s property where he has a “private residence” and/or “personal office”, and then describe the search efforts to find responsive documents at those locations. Amer also wrote.

Judge Engoron agreed.

” The affirmations provided by Mr. Trump’s counsel are inadequate because they do not specify who sought each request at what times and with what search protocols. It is more than enough to simply attach a list. Counsel’s affirmations also failed to confirm that electronic devices in question were searched using search terms and images. “

Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, were ordered on February 17 to appear for depositions in James’ long-running civil fraud probe. The order was appealed and they are currently awaiting the decision. Trump did not challenge a separate part of that February 17 ruling in which he was ordered to comply with James’ subpoena for documents. James claimed that his extensive investigation had collected evidence that “David J. Trump’s Organization” used misleading and fraudulent financial statements in order to gain economic benefits. In February, James’ office claimed in a press release that it had collected evidence “showing Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading financial statements to obtain economic benefit.”

Trump has repeatedly denied any allegations of wrongdoing. Habba repeated that on Monday and called the probe “a political crusade.” “

Graham Kates

Graham Kates, an investigative reporter for CBS News Digital covering privacy and criminal justice issues. Contact Graham at KatesG@cbsnews.com or grahamkates@protonmail.com

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