(New York) Former President Donald Trump will have to answer questions under oath in the New York state’s civil investigation into his business practices, a panel of judges ruled Thursday.
Posted at 1:00 PM.
The four-judge appellate panel upheld the appeal of the February 17 ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron in Manhattan to serve subpoenas against Mr. Trump and two of his sons. They have been called to testify in the investigation led by Attorney General Letitia James.
Donald Trump has appealed the decision, hoping to overturn it. His lawyers argued that forcing their client and children to testify would violate their constitutional rights because their answers could later be used in a parallel criminal investigation.
Citing the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination, the judges wrote, “The existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude the civil disclosure of facts relating to it and for which a party may exercise its right not to incriminate itself.”
Letitia James, a Democrat, said her investigation uncovered evidence that the Trump Organization is using “false and misleading” assessments of its assets, such as golf courses and skyscrapers, to secure bank loans and tax benefits.
The Public Prosecutor praised the decision, which comes just two weeks after the committee considered the case. She wrote on Twitter that the investigation “will continue unabated because no one is above the law.”
“Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with the requirements of our legal investigation into his business dealings,” the attorney general said in a written comment. “We will continue to pursue the facts in this case to ensure that no one escapes the law,” he added.
Donald Trump, a Republican, has denied all allegations against him, calling the attorney general’s endeavor a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
Representatives for the Trump family did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Trump clan can still turn to the highest court in New York state in hopes of a ruling in their favour.
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