A New York appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld a $110,000 fine on former President Donald Trump that a judge imposed last spring after he was found in contempt for failing to turn over documents to the state attorney general’s office as part of an investigation of his company.
The panel of five justices ruled that Trump’s contempt fine for not complying with a subpoena for the records was a “proper exercise” of the discretionary power of Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.
The panel also said the fine of $10,000 per day “was not excessive or otherwise improper, under the particular circumstances.”
Attorney General Letitia James applauded the two-page ruling issued by the state Supreme Court Appellate Division’s First Judicial Department.
“Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump is not above the law,” James said.
“For years, he tried to stall and thwart our lawful investigation into his financial dealings, but today’s decision sends a clear message that there are consequences for abusing the legal system,” she said. “We will not be bullied or dissuaded from pursuing justice.”
Alina Habba, Trump’s lawyer in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Engoron imposed the fine on Trump last April after ruling that he had repeatedly failed to give James’ investigators business records from the Trump Organization that they were seeking for their probe of his real estate company.
“Mr. Trump has willfully disobeyed a lawful order of the court,” Engoron said at the time.
Trump later paid the fine, but appealed Engoron’s contempt finding.
James in September filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his company and three of his adult children, accusing them of widespread fraud involving years’ worth of financial statements.
The suit alleges that Trump grossly overstated the value of his assets to banks, insurers and the IRS to get better loan and insurance terms for the Trump Organization, and to obtain tax benefits.
In addition to huge financial damages, James’ suit seeks to permanently bar Trump and his children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — from serving as an officer of a company in New York, and permanently bar the Trump companies named as defendants from doing business in New York state.