Former President Donald Trump will have to testify under oath for New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into The Trump Organization, a court decided on Thursday. Two of Trump’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., will also have to testify under oath.
A four-judge panel in the appellate division of the state’s trial court upheld a previous ruling that enforced the attorney general’s subpoenas. Trump’s team had appealed the earlier decision, arguing that James was attempting to illegally obtain information for a separate criminal investigation.
“The existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude civil discovery of related facts, at which a party may exercise the privilege against self-incrimination,” the appellate panel wrote.
James praised the court’s decision.
“A court has once again ruled in our favor and ordered Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to appear before my office to testify under oath,” James tweeted. “Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law.”
In January, James announced that her team had found “significant evidence” of fraud at The Trump Organization, including transactions that allegedly involved Trump and his children.
However, the attorney general’s office also noted in a statement at the time that James “has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action,” adding that “the grounds for pursuing the investigation are self-evident.”
“We have uncovered significant evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations on multiple properties to obtain economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions for years,” James tweeted in January.
“Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump have all been closely involved in the transactions in question, so we won’t tolerate their attempts to evade testifying in this investigation,” she continued.
“We will not be deterred in our efforts to continue this investigation, uncover the facts, and pursue justice, no matter how many roadblocks Mr. Trump and his family throw in our way,” James added. “No one is above the law.”
Last year, Trump blasted James over her office’s criminal probe into The Trump Organization, suggesting it was just another part of a years-long “witch hunt.”
“I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 ½ years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has ‘informed’ my organization that their ‘investigation’ is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a “criminal” investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” Trump wrote.
“There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here.”