Trump Organization was secretly held in contempt for withholding evidence

Logo on the Trump International Hotel in Chicago.
(Image credit: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Trump Organization was secretly held in criminal contempt in 2021 after failing to comply with court orders related to a criminal tax fraud investigation, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The charge against former President Donald Trump's company was revealed in an unsealed court document shared by the Times, in which it was found that the Trump Organization was "willfully disobeying" at least three court orders and four grand jury subpoenas. As a result, the company was ordered to pay $4,000 in fines — the maximum allowed by law — during a one-day contempt trial in Manhattan that was previously unreported.

It is unclear whether these fines have already been paid. Prosecutors had also sought "coercive sanctions" of $60,000 per day, but this request was not granted.

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"The record is clear that the company failed to produce responsive documents without explanation," Judge Juan Merchan wrote in his Dec. 2021 order. "Despite clear warnings, the Company missed deadline after deadline, never moving to quash subpoenas and never seeking Court intervention. Some subpoenas went largely ignored and another was ignored entirely."

"When challenged [the company] provided one excuse after another," Merchan added.

The revelation of the Trump Organization's contempt comes just a week after the company was found guilty of tax fraud and a slate of other financial crimes. The company could face up to $1.6 million in fines, and though the former president himself was not himself on trial, the conviction could make it significantly harder for the Trump Organization to conduct further business.

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