Trump's Secret Trial Revealed - Convicted of 2 Counts of Criminal Contempt of Court


Donald Trump’s company impeded a grand jury investigation last year by repeatedly failing to turn over evidence in a timely fashion, leading to a secret contempt finding and a $4,000 fine, according to court records made public Tuesday.

The Trump Organization was found to have been “willfully disobeying” four grand jury subpoenas and three court orders, which affected the ability of Manhattan prosecutors to question witnesses, Judge Juan Manuel Merchan ruled.

The subpoenas, issued in March, April, May and June 2021, preceded the Trump Organization’s July 2021 indictment on criminal tax fraud charges for helping executives avoid taxes on company-paid perks. The company was convicted this month and faces a fine of up to $1.6 million.

The $4,000 contempt fine was the maximum allowable by law.

This is not the first issue involving Trump and allegations of mishandling or withholding records. In April, a judge held Trump in contempt and fined him $110,000 for being slow to respond to a civil subpoena issued by New York’s attorney general. The former president has also been under investigation for storing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

'A Tragic Day for the Rule of Law': Appeals Court Clamps Down on Trump by Reinstating Gag Order

Merchan vaguely referenced the Trump Organization’s contempt proceeding while presiding over the company’s criminal trial, saying he would wait until after it was over to unseal records related to an unspecified proceeding held last year.

That proceeding turned out to be the Trump Organization’s closed-door contempt trial on Oct. 7, 2021, and Merchan’s partially redacted 28-page ruling finding the company in contempt, which he issued on Dec. 8, 2021.

While the company’s name was blacked out in the court record released Tuesday, the details in the decision and the manner in which it was unsealed by the judge made it clear who was involved.

Manhattan prosecutors had sought “coercive sanctions” of $60,000 per day, Merchan said.

Do you think that Trump will make a good 2024 election candidate?

Trump Organization lawyers argued that the company had been providing a steady stream of records, at one point totaling more than 3.5 million pages, but Merchan said that was “just enough to fend off” the prosecution’s request for penalties “while never fully meeting any of the deadlines.”

“When challenged (the company) provided one excuse after another,” Merchan wrote. “At times it claimed it was impossible to meet deadlines because the demands were too voluminous, overbroad or vague. On other occasions, it blamed delays and omissions on human error” or technical issues.

In the recently concluded criminal tax fraud trial, two corporate entities at the Trump Organization were convicted Dec. 6 of charges including charges of conspiracy and falsifying business records. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 13. The defense said it will appeal. Trump himself was not on trial.

The company’s former finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, previously pleaded guilty to charges that he manipulated the company’s books to illegally reduce his taxes on $1.7 million in fringe benefits such as a Manhattan apartment and luxury cars. He testified in exchange for a promised five-month jail sentence.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City