Donald Trump paid $110,000 in fines after being held in contempt of court for delay in responding to a civil citation issued by the New York state attorney general.
The news on one front of the former president’s many legal battles came on the heels of a breakthrough on another, the news that Trump’s former US Attorney General William Barr is in talks to testify before the House committee. Chamber investigating the deadly attack on the Capitol.
The House investigation on January 6 has produced a criminal contempt charge for a Trump ally, former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
Letitia James, the New York attorney general, is conducting a civil investigation into Trump’s business affairs.
Last week, a lawyer from James’ office said the evidence could support legal action against Trump, his company or both, but that a final decision had not yet been made.
James, a Democrat, said her three-year investigation uncovered evidence that the Trump Organization misrepresented the value of assets such as skyscrapers and golf courses for more than a decade.
Trump, a Republican, denies James’ allegations. He has called James’ investigation “racist” and a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Trump’s lawyers have accused James of selective prosecution. Trump is suing James in federal court, seeking to shut down the investigation of him.
Trump paid the contempt of court fine on Thursday but must still submit additional paperwork to have the contempt order lifted, James’ office said.
A Manhattan judge found Trump in contempt of court on April 25 and fined him $10,000 a day for failing to comply with a subpoena in the lengthy investigation into his business practices.
Arthur Engoron agreed on May 11 to lift the contempt order if Trump paid the fines by May 20 and submitted affidavits detailing efforts to search for the subpoenaed records and explaining his and his company’s document retention policies.
Engoron also required a company hired by Trump to help with the search, HaystackID, to finish reviewing 17 boxes in offsite storage and for that company to report its findings and turn over any relevant documents. That process was completed Thursday, James’ office said.
Engoron told Trump to pay the money and have the attorney general hold it in an escrow account while Trump’s legal team appeals the original contempt ruling.
Engoron prevented the fine from accruing on May 6, when Trump’s attorneys produced 66 pages of documents detailing efforts to locate the subpoenaed records. The judge warned that he could reinstate him, retroactive to May 7, if the conditions were not met.
A message seeking comment was left with Trump’s attorney.