New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that the former United States President Donald Trump must testify under oath in a New York probe – along with his two elder children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump – into their business practices. Previously, the attorney general of New York blamed the Trump Organization for gaining loans through misleading or deceptive asset valuations and tax breaks.
Judge Engoron ruled that the former US President Biden must testify in a civil investigation of the New York state into his business practices. He ordered him and his two eldest children, Trump Jr. & Ivanka, to obey December-issued subpoenas by NY Attorney General Letitia James. pic.twitter.com/NstfV5JWRt
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) February 18, 2022
Former Republican president must sit to answer questions under sworn with twenty-one days. On the other hand, Trump denied the allegations and is likely to appeal against the decision. Additionally, he could also invoke his right to remain silent in any sworn testimony. In a statement to BBC, the Trump Organization said that the whole system is corrupt. However, the former president called the investigation politically driven and a witch-hunt by a Democratic leader Ms. James.
Judge Engoron said that Trump, his forty-four-year-old son, forty-year-old daughter, and everybody must comply with legal orders that prosecutors issued last December. In addition, the judge said that the investigation of the NY Attorney General Letitia James had revealed much evidence of a likely financial scam, giving her a right to question under oath Trump and two of his children involved in the business.
Rough Day for Former President
An appeal from the former president is undoubtedly forthcoming. In case of its failure, Trump may deny answering the questions, as previously in 2020, his son Eric Trump did the same under similar circumstances. That is what Trump’s lawyers are already recommending. It is far from the line end, but it still was a rough day for Trump.
The investigation intends to prove the claims of the government that Trump exaggerated the value of his assets to banks when looking for loans. The fraud is supposed to have taken place before he took office. Attorneys for the former president tried to take legal action against James in an effort to prevent her from probing Trump and his children.
James welcomed the decision of the judge and called it a victory of justice. In addition, the civil case is separate from a Manhattan criminal probe into the practices of the former president’s organization. In court, Trump’s attorneys argued that testifying in the civil case would inappropriately allow the state to bypass a law that bars prosecutors from calling somebody to appear before a criminal grand jury unless they allow immunity.
Alina Habba, another lawyer for the former President, blamed James for using the civil investigation to collect evidence for the criminal probe. Further, she added that James’ office is putting the Trumps in a position where they wither unveil proof in a civil investigation or invoke the legal right not to appear, thus prompting an adverse interference in the civil action.
James Tweet on the Court Decision
After the Thursday ruling, James tweeted that the judge ruled in their favor and ordered the former president to must testify before her office as part of the investigation into his financial dealings. Furthermore, she adds that no one will be allowed to stand in the way of justice, no matter how powerful they are.
#BREAKING: Today, a court ruled in our favor that Donald Trump must appear before my office as part of our investigation into his financial dealings.
No one will be permitted to stand in the way of the pursuit of justice, no matter how powerful they are.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 17, 2022