Trump to be questioned in July in a civil probe in New York: NPR

Donald Trump, left, his son Donald Trump Jr., center, and daughter Ivanka Trump speak at the design unveiling for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, September 10, 2013.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP


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Trump to be questioned in July in a civil probe in New York: NPR

Donald Trump, left, his son Donald Trump Jr., center, and daughter Ivanka Trump speak at the design unveiling for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, September 10, 2013.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Former President Donald Trump, his eponymous son and daughter Ivanka have agreed to answer questions under oath next month in the New York Attorney General’s civil investigation into his business practices, unless their lawyers persuade the state’s highest court to rule in law. to grab.

A Manhattan judge on Wednesday signed an agreement calling on the Trumps to make statements — a legal term for sworn, preliminary testimony out of court — beginning July 15.

Messages requesting comment were sent to the ex-president’s lawyers. Attorney General Letitia James’s office declined to comment, as did the younger Trumps’ attorney Alan Futerfas.

Another Trump son, Eric Trump, made a statement in 2020 but declined to answer some questions.

The new agreement comes after a series of setbacks to Donald Trump’s efforts to block James’ three-year investigation.

James has said the investigation has found evidence that Trump’s company has exaggerated the value of assets such as skyscrapers, golf courses and even his Manhattan penthouse in order to obtain loans, insurance and tax breaks on land donations. An attorney from her office told a judge last month that evidence could support legal action against the former president, his company, or both, though the attorney said no decision had been made.

Trump has dismissed the investigation as part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.

A New York state appeals court ruled on May 26 that Trump must face an affidavit, upholding a lower court’s ruling that the attorney general had “a clear right” to question Trump and certain other principals in his firm. .

Then, on May 27, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Trump filed to obtain a court order that prevented James from investigating him.

The lawsuit alleged that James, a Democrat, attacked the Republican ex-president for political hostility and violated his freedom of speech and due process. A Trump lawyer said at the time that the dismissal would be appealed.

Meanwhile, James said Trump raised “baseless legal challenges” in her investigation and promised it would continue.

Wednesday’s agreement recognizes that the Trumps can appeal to New York’s highest court, called the Court of Appeals, to try to overturn the decision requiring their statements.

The former president had considerable experience with such interrogations throughout his corporate career, and he made a statement last October in a lawsuit filed by protesters who said his security team had handled them roughly during his first presidential campaign.

James’ office began investigating Trump in 2019 after his former personal attorney Michael Cohen told Congress that the businessman-turned-politician had a history of misrepresenting asset values ​​in order to obtain favorable loan terms and tax breaks. .

James’ office has also been involved in a parallel but separate investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

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