News report

Judge lifts contempt order against Trump in civil investigation

Mr Trump denied wrongdoing and called Ms James a “radical leftist racist”.

While the former president’s lawyers said they had carried out a thorough search of the records sought by Ms James’ investigators, Judge Engoron said in April that the lawyers had failed to provide enough detail in official legal documentation about how this research was conducted, who performed it and when it was conducted, and he decided to despise Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have appealed the contempt order and that will continue, they reported on Wednesday. While Mr Trump is due to pay the $110,000, the money may be on hold for now, meaning Ms James’ office may not receive the money until the appeal is decided.

The $110,000 sum, although little more than a rounding error for someone of Mr. Trump’s wealth, underscores the seriousness of the contempt. Mr Trump is loath to part with his money and his lawyers have argued aggressively to drop the financial side of the contempt order.

“It’s a lot of money,” Alina Habba, one of his lawyers, remarked during Wednesday’s hearing.

In addition to the fine, Mr. Trump’s attorneys must file at least one additional document from Mr. Trump’s administrative assistant attesting to the company’s policy on storing his records. Separately, the outside firm reviewing Mr. Trump’s records, HaystackID, must complete its review of the documents. Lawyers for Mr Trump said about five boxes were not searched.

In addition to demanding records from Mr. Trump, Ms. James also sought to question the former president and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, under oath. (His office interviewed another family member, Eric Trump, in October 2020.) Judge Engoron ordered that the Trumps be interviewed, but they have appealed that order and will argue the matter in an appeals court. later Wednesday afternoon.