Bad news seems to be hounding the erstwhile President of the United States this week as it has been disclosed that a New York judge slapped a $4,000 fine upon the Trump Organization last year after company officials willfully ignored four grand jury subpoenas and three court orders demanding that the company produce documents relevant to a tax fraud trial.
On Tuesday, December 13th, New York justice Juan Merchan, the same judge who convicted the Trump Organization for tax fraud just last week, unsealed the court order dated December 8, 2021, which proved that the company failed to produce the required documents without any explanation for their actions at a one-day trial held in October of the same year.
The aforementioned trial was held in secret as it involved subpoenas issued by a grand jury in January 2021. In this case, any records stemming from such a trial would be sealed. The grand jury involved in that trial remained active even after the Trump Organization and Allen H. Weisselberg, the company’s chief financial officer, were charged with crimes in July of the same year.
As a result, two companies under the Organization directly involved in the case were convicted of contempt of court. The $4,000 fine imposed upon them is the maximum amount mandated by law.
Anything But a Slap on the Wrist
$4,000 may not seem like much in light of the immensity of Trump’s company, but the mere fact that it was charged with contempt means this move was more than just a mere slap on the wrist.
In previous cases, Trump’s legal strategy of choice involved delaying proceedings and questioning any subpoenas to produce evidence and summons to appear in court. But it is now apparent that his approach no longer works.
Not the First Time – and Probably Not the Last
This is the second time this year that Trump and the Trump Organization were held in contempt for refusing to submit the documents asked for in court. Previously, Trump and his company were called out for contempt during a civil inquiry into the former’s unorthodox business practices conducted by New York’s attorney general.
Following last week’s conviction, Manhattan district attorney Alvin L. Bragg pushed on with his office’s ongoing inquiry into specific issues involving the former President. One point of concern is a payment made to a former adult film actress who claims to have had an affair with Trump. Another possibility is that numerous assets were overvalued in Trump’s annual financial statements.