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Donald Trump, Don Jr. and Ivanka must testify in New York Attorney General’s probe, court rules

Court rules Donald Trump and children Don Jr. and Ivanka must testify under oath in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into the family business

  • The appellate court upheld a February 17 ruling by New York State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron that said James can depose Trump
  • Trump and his two eldest children have argued that testifying in front of James would violate their constitutional right against self-incrimination
  • They claim their testimonies could be used in a separate criminal probe being run out of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which recently lost steam
  • James subpoenaed the Trump trio late 2021 after already talking to Eric Trump
  • The New York attorney general began her investigation in 2019 after Michael Cohen testified before Congress and discussed the Trump Org’s practices 
  • Trump has denounced her probe as a ‘witch hunt’ and James as a ‘racist’

Donald Trump and his two eldest children must testify under oath in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into their family real estate empire, a judge ruled on Thursday.

The former president, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. had all been fighting subpoenas from James’ office seeking depositions amid accusations the Trump Organization engaged in fraudulent financial tactics.

But judges on the appellate division of New York state’s trial court upheld a February 17 ruling by state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron. 

Engoron had overruled Trump’s concerns that being deposed would violate his constitutional rights. 

New York prosecutors believe the Trump Organization had knowingly misrepresented financial information in order to obtain favorable loans and other deals for over a decade. 

‘Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings,’ James said in a statement.

‘We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law.’ 

James earlier this year claimed to have uncovered significant evidence of Trump’s company inflating the value of their properties to appear better to banks and then lowering them to reduce tax bills 

She tweeted on Thursday: ‘Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law.’ 

She subpoenaed Donald Trump and his two eldest children late last year

New York Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating the Trump Organization since 2019. She subpoenaed Donald Trump and his two eldest children late last year has reached out to Trump attorney Alan Futerfas for comment. 

Trump and his two adult children were subpoenaed by James’ office late last year. 

They challenged the order in court, claiming that any information her team gains could be unfairly used in a separate but parallel criminal probe being run by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

But on Thursday, the court filing claimed ‘the existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude civil discovery of related facts, at which a party may exercise the privilege against self-incrimination.’

James would be able to bring a civil lawsuit against Trump using the deposition if evidence of wrongdoing was found. She could not file criminal charges due to the nature of her probe.

The criminal investigation, which had begun under former District Attorney Cyrus Vance, lost steam in recent months after it was taken over by new DA Alvin Bragg.

Bragg said in a statement last month that the investigation is still ongoing, but gave few if any details on its progress. A grand jury impaneled for the probe expired at the end of April without any public attempts to extend it.