A judge ruled that former President Donald Trump, as well as his children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, must testify in an investigation into their business practices being conducted by the New York attorney general’s office.
Judge says Trump and sons must testify in NY probe into his business practices
Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in his ruling for the supreme court of New York’s First Judicial District the majority opinion after lawyers for Trump and his children argued that New York Attorney General Letitia James was targeting the former president for political reasons.
The investigation probes whether the Trump Organization misrepresented the value of certain assets in its financial statements, loan applications and tax returns. Lawyers for Trump and his sons had hoped to quash the subpoenas and suspend the civil investigations until the criminal probes were concluded.
Engoron noted how Trump’s legal team claimed the new subpoenas allowed the attorney general’s office to extract information under the guise of a civil proceeding without James’ office offering them the immunity that a grand jury could grant them.
“This argument completely misses the mark,” the ruling stated. “Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has subpoenaed the new Trump defendants to appear before a grand jury.”
The judge also wrote that if they testified, the Trumps could refuse to answer questions, as was the case with Eric Trump.
“In fact, Defendant Eric Trump invoked his right against self-incrimination in response to more than 500 questions during his one-day deposition about the present proceeding,” Engoron wrote.
Throughout legal arguments that day, Trump family lawyers cited James’ public statements about the former president to show that their investigation was misplaced.
Trump’s lawyers also tried to assert that day that the president was part of a “protected class,” something Engoron disputed during the proceedings and ultimately refuted.