In early January, it became known that the New York Public Prosecution Office requested testimony from former US President Donald Trump and the eldest of his two children. This is in connection with the civil investigation.
The case concerns an ongoing investigation into the family’s business practices, more specifically an “investigation into the valuation of real estate owned or controlled” by Trump and his company The Trump Organization.
Trump’s lawyers wanted to block the subpoenas. Judge Arthur Engoron doesn’t want any of that.
– No one is above the law
Trump’s lawyers protested vigorously during the two-hour hearing, but Judge Engoron chose to dismiss Trump’s bid.
On Thursday afternoon local time, the judge ruled that Trump and his two children must testify under oath.
They were also asked to submit relevant documents within two weeks, according to Politico.
No one should be allowed to stand in the way of the pursuit of justice, however strong they may be. Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. Ivanka Trump must comply with this ruling and testify before my office within 21 days. No one is above the law, New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote Twitter.
The news agency reported that the decision is expected to be appealed AP.
There are two parallel investigations into the Trump corporation. When attorneys were to present their arguments to the judge, Trump’s attorneys accused James’ office of trying to use testimony from Trump and his children in a parallel criminal investigation, he writes. Reuters.
If Trump testifies in the civil lawsuit, what he says could be used against him in the criminal investigation, the news agency wrote AP.
One of the lawyers, Ronald Fichte, said the former president would need immunity before testifying. It would thus avoid having to invoke the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
If she (Letitia James journal.anm.) wants to obtain a certificate from my client, she is entitled to immunity. Vishti said he gets immunity from what he says, or else he won’t say anything.
– Someone has to stop
Attorney from James’s office, Kevin Wallace, told the judge that it was not unusual for a civil and criminal investigation to take place at the same time, according to the Associated Press.
Alina Hobba, also one of Trump’s lawyers, accused James of using a civil investigation to gather evidence for the criminal investigation.
I have put my clients, Don and Ivanka, in a position where they either have to give evidence in a civil investigation, or they have to use their constitutional right not to testify, thus causing an unfortunate outcome in the civil case.
I asked the judge how fair this was.
– We have to stop someone, she says of the investigations.
– witch hunting
Trump claimed the investigation was politically motivated and accused Attorney General James of violating his constitutional rights to tarnish his image.
In the past, the Republican president has mentioned both the James investigation and the parallel criminal investigation from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, as part of a witch hunt.
“The Trump family must agree to legal voting on documents and testimony, because no one in this country can choose for themselves how the law applies to them,” James said in a statement ahead of today’s court hearing. Watchman.
The civil investigation partially overlaps with the forensic investigation led by Attorney General Alvin Bragg. Last summer, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded not guilty after being charged with fraud, theft and tax fraud.
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