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Judge says Trump contempt ruling lifted if he pays $110K fine

President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Leah Millis | Reuters

A New York judge said Wednesday that he would lift a contempt of court finding against former President Donald Trump by next week if Trump’s legal team provides more information about a search for documents sought by the state Attorney General and pays a $110,000 fine.

If those conditions are not met by May 20, Judge Arthur Engoron said he would reinstate a $10,000 per-day fine against Trump for being in contempt for having failed to comply with a subpoena issued by Attorney General Letitia James.

Trump and his lawyers have said they cannot locate documents sought by James as part of her civil investigation of the Trump Organization and its valuation of several real estate assets.

Engoron previously has said he was not satisfied with the explanations that Trump and the lawyers have given detailing their search for those documents.

The Manhattan Supreme Court judge held Trump in contempt last month, and imposed the $10,000 daily fine.

On Wednesday, Engoron said that order is lifted if Trump’s legal team submits additional affidavits with more details about the searches for the documents, and the document retention and destruction policies of the Trump Organization by May 20.

Engoron also said that a review of Trump documents by the digital forensics company HaystackID would need to be completed and that Trump would have to pay accrued fines through last Friday of $110,000 to the attorney general’s office by the May 20 deadline.

James’s office is eyeing allegations that the Trump Organizations illegally manipulated the stated values of different properties in order to obtain financial benefits when applying for loans, obtaining insurance policies and paying taxes.

A lawyer for Trump had no immediate comment on Engoron’s ruling Wednesday.

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