NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Former President Donald Trump’s company fended off a special jury investigation last year by failing to timely turn over documents that, according to court records, earned him a secret contempt correction and Earned a $4,000 fine. Released on Tuesday.
Judge Juan Manuel Merchen found that the Trump Organization “willfully disregarded” four jury requests and three court orders, leaving Manhattan prosecutors unable to prepare to cross-examine witnesses.
Subpoenas issued in March, April, May and June 2021 – Indictments were filed in July 2021 against the Trump Organization for tax fraud by helping officials avoid taxes on corporate profits. The company was convicted earlier this month and fined up to $1.6 million.
The $4,000 fine for contempt is the maximum allowed by law.
This is yet another controversy over Trump’s withholding or mishandling of documents. In April, a judge held Trump in contempt and fined him $110,000 for failing to respond in a timely manner to subpoenas issued by the New York Attorney General. The former president is also being investigated for moving classified documents to his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Merchan, presiding over the company’s criminal trial, made a vague reference to the Trump Organization’s contempt lawsuit, saying he would wait until the conclusion to defile records related to an unspecified lawsuit from last year.
The proceedings stemmed from a closed-door trial against the Trump Organization on October 7, 2021, and Merchen’s 28-page decision, partially modified, issued on December 8, 2021, holding the company in contempt.
While the company’s name was blacked out in documents released Tuesday, the details of the decision and the way it was published by the judge make it clear who was meant.
Michael Sisak is on Twitter as twitter.com/mikesisak