Updated May 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Court rules Trump must testify under oath in N.Y. state's investigation

Picture of Donald Trump
Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A court has ruled that former President Trump and his children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., are obligated to testify under oath in New York state's investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings, state Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday.

Driving the news: A four-judge panel in the appellate division of the state’s trial court upheld a February decision enforcing James' subpoenas in the investigation. Trump's attorneys had argued that the attorney general's office was using them to unlawfully extract information for a separate criminal probe.

Details: "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 panel wrote in their decision.

  • Additionally, the panel held: "[t]he civil investigation was initiated in March 2019 after testimony before Congress by Michael Cohen ... in which Cohen alleged that respondent The Trump Organization Inc. had issued fraudulent financial statements."
  • "This sequence of events suggests that the investigation was lawfully initiated at its outset and well-founded, apart from any parallel criminal investigation undertaken by the District Attorney."

What she's saying: "Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," James said.

Between the lines: Trump's potential testimony could be used against him in the criminal probe conducted by the Manhattan district attorney, AP reports.

The big picture: James had said earlier this year that her office's investigation found that the Trump Organization allegedly used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

What we're watching: The Trump family could still appeal the panel's ruling to the New York Court of Appeals.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details throughout.

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