Judge says Trump must testify

According to the New York Post, a judge has just ruled that former President Donald Trump – as well as his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. – must provide sworn testimony to the Letitia James (D), the attorney general of New York. 

James has been leading an investigation into the Trump Organization since 2019. She claims to be investigating alleged fraudulent practices by the company.

Trump, however, has argued that James’s investigation is little more than a political attack, just like the other unfounded, politically-motivated attacks that Trump has been the subject of since becoming president.

Background

As part of her investigation, James subpoenaed Trump and two of his children. In doing so, she claimed to be seeking “testimony and documents in connection with an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization, or any matter which the Attorney General deems pertinent.”

Trump has been attempting to get the subpoenas thrown out. Trump raised two main arguments, one of which was that he was being unfairly treated by James.

The other argument was reported on by the Post. The outlet explains that Trump’s “attorneys noted that the AG could use the testimony to help a parallel criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, rather than calling the trio before a grand jury — which could give them immunity from a civil claim involving the same facts.”

The decision

This week, New York’s Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, rejected Trump’s arguments.

The court writes:

The political campaign and other public statements made by [the Office of the Attorney General] about appellants do not support the claim that OAG initiated, or is using, the subpoenas in this civil investigation to obtain testimony solely for use in a criminal proceeding or in a manner that would otherwise improperly undermine appellants’ privilege against self-incrimination.

What this means is that Trump, as well as Ivanka and Donald Jr., will all have to provide testimony to James.

Trump, though, still does have the option to appeal the decision, and one of Trump’s attornies indicated that this is likely to happen.

James celebrates

Following the decision, James put out a celebratory statement, saying:

Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings. We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law.

Trump, himself, has yet to respond.

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