Trump Pays $110K To NY AG For Not Complying In Biz Probe

Law360, New York (May 20, 2022, 4:33 PM EDT) -- Former President Donald Trump has paid a $110,000 fine for his failure to comply with the New York attorney general's probe into his business practices and filed affidavits ahead of a Friday deadline to keep a court's contempt order lifted.

Attorney General Letitia James said Friday she had received the fine, according to a spokesperson from James' office. Later Trump filed affidavits attesting to his search for documents or policies regarding record destruction and retention. He was required to provide those affidavits to avoid reinstatement of the contempt order by New York Justice Arthur F. Engoron. The order imposes a $10,000 fine for every day that the former president fails to comply with the subpoena seeking documents in the attorney general's investigation of his business.

In order for Justice Engoron to completely lift the contempt order, independent discovery firm HaystackID had to provide a report on Trump's compliance with the subpoena and confirm there had been an adequate search for documents, according to a filing. 

A May 11 decision from Justice Engoron indicated that Trump's failure to pay heed to any of those requirements by Friday's deadline would result in the $10,000 daily fine resuming and a restoration of the contempt order. Justice Engoron held Trump in contempt in April for flouting the AG's subpoena and failing to turn over documents in her investigation, which deals in part with whether Trump inflated property values for tax benefits.

That contempt order was temporarily lifted when Trump filed affidavits on May 6 that Justice Engoron said "complied in significant part but not completely" with the court's order.

While Trump and the attorney general have fought in state court over Trump's subpoena compliance, he's sought to put an end to her civil probe in federal court. A suit from the former president makes various constitutional challenges to the investigation, accusing James of violating Trump's rights under the First, Fourth and 14th amendments by pursuing groundless inquiries, attempting to infringe on his free speech and issuing unjustifiably broad subpoenas requesting information on him, his family, his businesses and his associates.

James has been investigating whether Trump inflated the value of his assets and has issued subpoenas requesting information on him, his family members and officials from the Trump Organization, including Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. She has sought information on the business' valuation of assets including Seven Springs, a property in Westchester County, New York, according to filings.

A representative of Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

New York is represented by Kevin C. Wallace, Andrew Amer, Colleen K. Faherty, Alex Finkelstein, Wil Handley, Eric R. Haren, Louis M. Solomon, Austin Thompson and Stephanie Torre of the Office of the New York State Attorney General.

Trump is represented by Alina Habba and Michael T. Madaio of Habba Madaio & Associates LLP.

The case is New York v. The Trump Organization et al., case number 451685/2020, in the Supreme Court for the State of New York, County of New York.

--Additional reporting by Frank Runyeon. Editing by Neil Cohen.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the filing of the affidavits.

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