Donald Trump’s lawyer says the New York attorney general failed to show that the former president’s conduct was calculated to impede an investigation.
Former US President Donald Trump has filed an appeal against a New York judge’s decision to keep him in prison. contempt of court for failing to submit requested documents in a state investigation into his business practices.
Wednesday’s appeal came two days after Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron issued a ruling to fine Trump $10,000 a day until he adequately responds to a summons New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, argued in her appeal that the former president properly responded to the subpoena, saying James failed to show that Trump’s actions were “calculated to defeat, prejudice, impede or prejudice” the investigation.
Habba also said that James refused to engage in “good faith discussions” before seeking to have Trump fined.
James, a Democrat, has been investigating whether Trump, a Republican, inflated the value of their assets to improperly obtain bank loans and other economic benefits.
Engoron ruled Monday that a contempt decision was appropriate due to what it called “repeated failures” to deliver materials, saying it was not clear Trump had conducted a full search for the requested documents.
“Mr. Trump … I know you are serious about your business and I am serious about mine. I hereby hold you in civil contempt,” the judge said, though Trump himself was not in the New York state courtroom. New York in Manhattan.
James had hailed Monday’s ruling as a “huge victory.”
“Today justice prevailed,” he said in a statement. “For years, Donald Trump has tried to evade the law and stop our legal investigation into him and his company’s financial dealings. Today’s ruling makes it clear: no one is above the law.”
Habba, however, insisted after the ruling that “all documents responsive to the subpoena were submitted to the attorney general months ago,” even though James’ office had said it received “zero documents” from Trump in late March.
Trump denies any wrongdoing and says investigations into his business practices are politically motivated. Last year, sued james to block the probe. The suit called the investigation a “baseless” and “malicious” fishing expedition seeking to harass the former president.
For his part, James has said your probe had found “significant evidence” suggesting that for more than 10 years the financial statements of Trump’s company “relied on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure economic benefits.”
The New York attorney general opened the civil investigation in 2019 after Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified in Congress that the former president inflated his assets “when it served his purposes.”
Trump was impeached twice as president, including in early 2021 for inciting a riot in the US Capitol when legislators certified the electoral victory of his successor Joe Biden, but the Senate acquitted him with votes in favor of his party.