Trump will testify alongside Don Jr. and Ivanka on July 15 as part of New York Attorney General’s probe into his business – and faces up to $430,000 in fines if he still refuses to comply with his court order
- Lawyers for Donald Trump and his eldest children agreed on the date
- New York State Attorney General Letitia James subpoenaed them for their testimonies late last year, which they have delayed in court
- Meanwhile on Wednesday a judge is weighing whether Trump met the terms to purge a contempt charge on a separate legal battle linked to James’ probe
- James’ office has been investigating the Trump Organization since 2019
- She claims the company knowingly used misleading financial statements in order to obtain favorable loans and deals while keeping taxes low
Donald Trump and his two eldest children have agreed to testify in New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ three-year investigation into their real estate business, a Tuesday court filing shows.
That’s despite Trump repeatedly blasting James’ probe as a partisan ‘witch hunt’ and attacking the Democrat official herself as a ‘racist.’
Late last month a court dismissed the Trumps’ effort to quash New York State’s subpoena seeking their testimonies.
In a separate legal battle, Trump’s attorney is reportedly facing off with James via a virtual court proceeding where a judge will decide whether the ex-president satisfied the requirements to lift a contempt charge and $10,000 daily fine against him.
James had accused Trump of slow walking her investigation by refusing to hand over key financial documents – which Trump argued he simply did not have.
If his lawyer Alina Habba’s Wednesday effort in court fails, he could be liable to pay off the entire retroactive contempt charge of $430,000 – after already forking over $110,000 to try and purge it.
James’ team claims to have uncovered ‘substantial evidence’ that the Trump Organization knowingly used misleading financial statements in its business dealings for at least a decade.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating the Trump Organization since 2019. She subpoenaed Donald Trump and his two eldest children late last year
The company is accused of inflating the value of its properties in order to appear favorable to banks and secure better loans, and then undercutting their estimates to shave money off of taxes.
So far, the former president’s legal efforts to quash James’ probe have come up empty.
Just weeks ago a Barack Obama-appointed judge threw out a third lawsuit of Trump’s against the Democrat official, which was seeking to end her investigation by claiming it violated her constitutional rights.
He appealed the ruling less than a week later on June 1.
Trump claimed James is acting out of political ‘animus’ because of her many statements pledging to take Trump on in court. He also argued that James’ probe violates his Constitutional rights.
But US District Judge Brenda Sannes said Trump’s legal team had failed to provide any concrete evidence that James was acting in bad faith and their arguments were not ‘sufficient’ to prove that claim.
The day before Sannes’ decision, a fellow judge of hers on the US District Court for the Northern District of New York sided with James in ruling that Trump and his two eldest children must testify.
That decision upheld a February 17 ruling by state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron that said Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump had to testify in front of James’ team.
The Tuesday court filing shows that both lawyers for Trump and his children and for James’ office agreed on the July 15 date
Ivanka Trump was a former Trump Organization executive before she left to serve in her father’s presidential administration. Donald Trump Jr., the oldest, is still an executive vice president there
Engoron had overruled Trump’s concerns that being deposed would violate his constitutional right against self-incrimination.
The former president and his two adult children were subpoenaed by James’ office late last year.
In their challenge, they claimed that any information her team gains could be unfairly used in a separate but parallel criminal probe being run by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
The criminal investigation, which had begun under former District Attorney Cyrus Vance, lost steam in recent months after it was taken over by new DA Alvin Bragg.
Bragg said in a statement last month that the investigation is still ongoing, but gave few if any details on its progress. A grand jury impaneled for the probe expired at the end of April without any public attempts to extend it.
And Engoron is also the same judge who sided with James in charging Trump with contempt, along with imposing a $10,000 daily fine for every day he did not comply with her subpoena to hand over documents.
Trump and his attorney had maintained that he did not have the records James was asking for and that he had handed over everything else, while she contended that his reasons were inadequate.