According to a declaration issued on Thursday, the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, and two of his adult children must go before a New York court within 21 days to answer questions about their family’s business.
President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., and his daughter Ivanka Trump were all ordered to testify by Justice Arthur Engoron of the New York state court in Manhattan, siding with Attorney General Letitia James.
After discovering “copious evidence of suspected financial malfeasance,” Engoron said that James had the “clear authority” to issue her subpoenas and examine the Trumps.
If the subpoenas had not been issued, it would have been “a flagrant breach of duty,” according to Engoron.
“Today, justice was vindicated,” James stated in a press release. “No one, no matter how strong they are, will be allowed to stand in the way of the pursuit of truth and justice in our country. No one is exempt from the rule of law.”
Following a two-hour hearing, the conclusion was reached. The Trump attorneys accused James of attempting to circumvent their clients’ constitutional rights by obtaining testimony that she might subsequently use against them in a parallel criminal investigation, which they said was illegal.
Alina Habba, a Trump attorney, accused James of “selective prosecution and prosecutorial malpractice that this nation has never seen,” noting what she termed the Democratic attorney general’s “vile contempt” for Trump, who is a Republican. James, a Democrat, has denied the allegations.
When asked why she is doing this, Habba said, “If he were not who he is, she would not be doing this.” “This court can assist in putting a halt to this farce.”
After the allegations were made public, Trump released a statement. He declared them untrue and accused James of targeting him and his family as part of a political agenda.
“In essence, it is a continuation of the largest Witch Hunt in history – and remember, I cannot receive a fair hearing in New York because of the hatred that judges and members of the court have for me. It is just not feasible!” The president announced this in a statement.
When James announced her almost three-year investigation into the Trump Organization last month, she claimed she had unearthed strong evidence of potential fraud.
According to the lawsuit she filed, she highlighted deceptive comments regarding the valuations of the Trump brand and six properties, claiming that the corporation may have exaggerated real estate values to acquire bank loans and then decreased them to minimize tax costs.
So yet, the Trumps have not been charged with any criminal offenses. Despite Trump’s request, Engoron denied his plea to put James’ case on hold while the criminal investigation, overseen by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is still ongoing. James became a part of the investigation last May.
Earlier this year, the Trump Organization and its longstanding top financial officer Allen Weisselberg were charged with tax fraud due to a criminal probe launched by Bragg’s predecessor Cyrus Vance, completed in July. Both of them entered a not guilty plea.
Completely Forgets The Mark
When it comes to civil subpoenas, Engoron says the claim that James was attempting to circumvent grand jury safeguards, which would have granted Trump immunity, is a “gross misinterpretation of the facts.”
When the attorney general’s office questioned Donald Trump in 2020, he noted that the president’s other adult son, Eric Trump, used his constitutional privilege against self-incrimination more than 500 times.
James’ often harsh public pronouncements about investigating Donald Trump, including a promise that “we’re going to sue him,” were also dismissed by the court as evidence of the “impropriety” of her investigation.
He said that not James’ disdain of the former president sparked the probe, but rather a statement by Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to Congress that Trump was “cooking the books” sparked the investigation.
As part of his ruling, the court underlined Trump’s history of inquiries by the Attorney General’s office, which included “substantial settlements” with James’ predecessors about naming rights to a name-brand institution and charity foundation.
Trump has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to halt James’ probe. He has not said whether or not he will run for president again in the next election cycle in 2024.
Following a decision by Trump’s longstanding accounting company Mazars USA to terminate connections with him and the Trump Organization last week, Engoron determined that the business could no longer stand by a decade’s worth of financial accounts. However, there were no substantial inconsistencies found.
According to the Trump Organization, James and Bragg’s investigations were made “moot” by Mazars’ conclusions.
The Trump Organization and Trump’s inauguration committee are being sued separately by the Attorney General of Washington, D.C., for the alleged misappropriation of $1.1 million in charity donations. On Thursday, a trial date of September 26 was established.