There are plenty of folks out there who believe that Donald Trump’s suddenly-civilian status will make him a potent legal target, and they’ve not been shy about taking aim at the former Commander in Chief of late.
This is true for his businesses as well, with the Trump Organization undergoing a wide-scoped investigation by New York City authorities of late. In this probe, Trump and his colleagues were commanded to provide a number of specific documents to the judge in the case, but were unable to, which then saw Trump himself held in contempt to the tune of $10,000 per day.
Now, as those documents still remain impossible to recover, the judge is looking for a compromise.
A New York judge said Wednesday that he would lift a contempt of court finding against former President Donald Trump by next week if Trump’s legal team provides more information about a search for documents sought by the state Attorney General and pays a $110,000 fine.
If those conditions are not met by May 20, Judge Arthur Engoron said he would reinstate a $10,000 per-day fine against Trump for being in contempt for having failed to comply with a subpoena issued by Attorney General Letitia James.
Trump and his lawyers have said they cannot locate documents sought by James as part of her civil investigation of the Trump Organization and its valuation of several real estate assets.
The judge had an idea about how Trump could return to his good graces.
On Wednesday, Engoron said that order is lifted if Trump’s legal team submits additional affidavits with more details about the searches for the documents, and the document retention and destruction policies of the Trump Organization by May 20.
Engoron also said that a review of Trump documents by the digital forensics company HaystackID would need to be completed and that Trump would have to pay accrued fines through last Friday of $110,000 to the attorney general’s office by the May 20 deadline.
Authorities in New York have repeatedly suggested that there isn’t likely to be a Trump indictment any time soon, which makes this whole hassle seem all the more performative.