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N.Y. judge lifts contempt order against Trump in AG's fraud probe

A New York judge lifted a contempt-of-court order against former President Donald Trump after ruling that recent submissions from his legal team were sufficiently compliant with a subpoena. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/f5b313fb1ffc4c182b23a9e86c287e62/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A New York judge lifted a contempt-of-court order against former President Donald Trump after ruling that recent submissions from his legal team were sufficiently compliant with a subpoena. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

June 29 (UPI) -- A New York judge on Wednesday lifted a contempt-of-court order against former President Donald Trump for failing to comply with a subpoena as part of a state investigation into his business.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron said he lifted the contempt order after reviewing "recent additional submissions" from Trump's legal team.

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New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office is conducting the civil probe into the Trump Organization, agreed that the documents were sufficient to lift the order.

"Although we are pleased that the court has lifted the contempt finding, we maintain that it was wholly unwarranted and improper in the first place," said Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump. "We will push ahead with our appeal to secure justice for our client."

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Engoron held Trump in contempt on April 25, after having previously shot down Trump's attempt to block the subpoena seeking his testimony and relevant documents related to the probe examining whether Trump's business inflated the value of its assets over the years for financial gain.

Trump was also fined $10,000 per day through May 6, when his attorneys filed explanations for their attempts to search for the subpoenaed documents.

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Engoron ordered the $110,000 Trump paid as part of the contempt conditions to remain in the attorney general's escrow account pending the outcome of an appeal.

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In the following weeks, Engoron and James demanded affidavits from two dozen Trump Organization employees and attorneys to learn how the company has apparently kept no records on Trump's finances for a decade.

Employees who responded said the company had few policies related to destroying and retaining documents related to Trump's personal finance, leaving decisions up to individuals or their department heads.

Habba noted that "a vast number" of documents showing Trump's handwritten notes had been turned over by the Trump Organization, including photos of golfer Gary Player, which Trump wrote "Great" on, as well as legal and design documents on which he wrote "OK" and a note from his daughter, Ivanka Trump, on a planning document about a Trump property in Doral, Fla.

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An attorney for James' office said in a June 21 filing that it supported lifting the contempt filing because "it is not apparent what else, if anything, [Trump] and his counsel can be ordered to do."

Trump is scheduled to appear in a court-ordered sworn deposition in mid-July, while Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. lost appeals seeking to block their depositions.

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"We have every expectation that [Trump] will be examined under oath next month and will advise the Court promptly if new information regarding Respondent's documents is gleaned from that testimony," Andrew Amer, an attorney for James' office, wrote.

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