(Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

It was an amazing day in court for Donald Trump. That is, it was Wednesday, because every appearance in the courtroom of the former president, who was known in the lawsuit, is an occasion for this or that madness.

It all started with a speech before Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, in which Trump’s lawyer Alina Hubba tried to persuade the court to weaken the order of contempt finding that her client “intentionally disobeyed the lawful order of this court” and should be assessed as A daily fine of $ 10,000 until he performs the discovery. The contempt was the result of Hubba’s decision to “execute” on March 3 opening regulations with 16 pages of chatter convincing the objections already rejected by the court, as well as the oath of “compliance”, which states that the requested information is in custody in the Trump Organization, and therefore Trump is not responsible for its transmission.

In writing order today, Judge Engaran agreed to parole on condition that Trump actually performs – without quoting intimidation – with a finding to satisfy the court by May 20th. Hubba will have to provide evidence of compliance that actually complies with New York law (fourth time charm?), And HaystackID, an e-discovery company tasked with gathering documents after Trump’s defendants failed to do so on their own, will have to confirm that they do meet the requirements. Trump will have to cut AG’s check by $ 110,000 to cover the accrued fines for contempt, and he will have to pay more if he fails to comply with the terms of the order.

This afternoon, four judges from the Appeals Division of the First Department heard an appeal on Judge Engoron’s order that Trump and his two older children testify. As well as court hearing on this point he was quite wild.

Trump’s lawyer, Alan Futterfas, relied on the theory that the AG was somehow illegal to issue a civil summons if there could be a parallel criminal investigation by District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The New York Grand Jury’s criminal subpoena comes with automatic immunity, and Futterfas argued that a civil subpoena is just a ploy to circumvent the criminal process.

After high-profile resignations from outside lawyers hired by Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., to prosecute Trump, it is clear that nothing is left of the criminal investigation. But with Brag still little finger swearing that the investigation continues even after the grand jury has been dissolved, Futterfas is going to whip this dead horse a little more.

The problem with this argument, the judges noted, is that civilian depositors can assert their right to the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, as Eric Trump did hundreds of times when he was ordered to testify in 2020.

“You have no right to testify before a grand jury, and no prosecutor worthy of his will will allow you to testify,” said Roland Acosta, chairman of the court.

“You are asking us to set aside decades of precedents or act as legislators,” he added later. “You don’t know about your criminal danger, and in that case you can invoke your privilege against self-incrimination. That’s the kind of tool you have. “

Judge Tanya Kennedy was also not thrilled with Futterfas’s view that the civil investigation leading to the criminal case was somehow illegitimate.

“What’s wrong with that?” She wondered.

“If this civil investigation poses a criminal threat, it poses a criminal threat,” Judge Acosta agreed.

Trying to distinguish her case from all other precedents, Futterfas argued that Tish James was biased against her client, and thus her subpoenas were somehow illegal.

“We have years of statements from Leticia James,” he said, his voice rising with indignation.

“We have years of statements all“Judge Acosta replied.” And he did not need to explain that the guy who ran on the platform LOCK HER UP, is unlikely to be able to complain about the public statements of the candidate.

“Thank you both for your arguments, they were long and thorough,” Judge Acosta concluded dryly.

And just to make the day even better, Judge Engaron rejected Trump’s appraisal of Cushman & Wakefield’s appraisers to allow the company to re-substantiate its motion to allow it to waive AG’s summons on how it came up with such very different estimates owned by Trump.

“He refused to sign, as without any merit,” he said wrote. “In [order to show cause] it’s just a repetition of issues that have already been properly resolved by this court in the preliminary opinion. “

Not exactly a hole in one.

Elizabeth Dai lives in Baltimore, where he writes about law and politics.

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