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Donald Trump is no longer in contempt of court for failing to comply with NY AG subpoena

By Sonia Moghe, CNN

Former President Donald Trump is no longer in contempt of a New York court, a judge said in an order Wednesday.

Trump was held in civil contempt in April for failing to comply with a subpoena from the New York Attorney General’s Office for documents as part of its investigation into the former President’s company.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron said he reviewed additional documents Trump submitted and the attorney general’s office agreed that the conditions to purge his contempt had been met. Trump had previously met other conditions needed to lift the order, including paying a fine and sworn statements describing the Trump Organization’s document retention and destruction policy, as well as a review of five boxes tied to Trump that were located in an off-site storage facility.

Engoron said Wednesday that the $110,000 that Trump paid in fines will be held in an escrow account pending his appeal being finalized.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office has been investigating the Trump Organization for more than two years and previously said her office found multiple misleading or fraudulent misstatements and omissions in the Trump Organization’s financial statements, which were provided to lenders and insurers, among others, as part of its investigation.

Attorneys for Trump and the attorney general have been engaged in a back-and-forth over whether Trump had scoured file cabinets, storage rooms and electronic filings to produce records called for by the subpoena.

CNN previously reported that James’ office had asked for additional sworn statements from several units within the Trump Organization over its document retention policy after taking a deposition of Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff, who resigned from the real estate company in April 2021. Graff said the company didn’t have a document retention policy and when documents were returned to other divisions — such as hotels, golf, accounting or the legal department — it was up to those individual units to decide whether to keep or destroy the records.

“The accounting department had things relevant to [Mr. Trump] there, the hotel department may have had records relevant to him there, the golf division may have had records relevant to him, the legal department. I mean, they retained their own records of communications with him. I did not,” Graff testified, according to a partial copy of her deposition that was submitted in court filings by the attorney general’s office.

The limited portion of the testimony suggested Trump did not like clutter.

Lawyers for the attorney general said Graff’s testimony “cast doubt on the completeness of Mr. Trump’s affidavit,” which stated his practice was to delegate document handling to his executive assistants. Graff said Trump “generally” left it to them but other departments could make their own decisions. The office is investigating the accuracy of financial statements the Trump Organization provided to lenders and insurers and for tax benefits.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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