- Donald Trump has yet to pay a court-ordered $10,000-a-day fine for flouting a subpoena for his business documents.
- As of Friday, he owes $40,000, but the court order does not demand that he cut a check every day.
- Instead, what he owes New York’s AG will accumulate by $10K a day — until a Manhattan judge lets him off the hook.
Donald Trump tried, and failed, Friday to extricate himself from a Manhattan judge’s contempt order that is costing him a $10,000 fine each day.
That fine is Trump’s penalty for every day he remains out of compliance with a New York Attorney General’s Office subpoena for his personal business documents — and now totals $40,000.
Trump has yet to pay a penny, but doesn’t have to — yet.
The contempt order, as signed into effect on Tuesday by New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, does not set rules for how he pays. It doesn’t say if he must cut a check every day, weekly, or all at once, when he’s no longer in contempt.
Instead, the amount he owes will just keep rising — $50,000 on Saturday, $60,000 on Saturday, and so on — as an IOU to AG Letitia James, until Trump either turns over the documents she wants, or explains to the satisfaction of a Manhattan judge just how it is that he has nothing to turn over.
James is probing whether Trump intentionally misstated the worth of at least ten of his properties over the years, in order to reap millions in bank loans and tax breaks.
Trump has insisted that his business has broken no laws, and that his company, the Trump Organization, has already turned over 900,000 documents to James’ probe. He’s argued he simply has nothing more to turn over.
But during a conference before Engoron on Friday, lawyers for the AG’s office complained that a lot of what Trump’s company has turned over to the probe is incomplete or irrelevant. And they suggested that Trump could be in legal jeopardy if he indeed has no more documents to hand over.
The AG’s office is well aware, they said, of what Trump should have turned over in the way of personal business documents, as revealed to them in witness testimony and through reports by an independent, court-ordered document search firm, they have said.
“I’ll be frank,” AG attorney Kevin Wallace said during Friday’s conference, his tone ominous. “If that’s all there is … it raises a bunch of other issues.”