NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump, his son of the same name and daughter Ivanka have agreed to answer under oath questions about his business practices in next month’s civil investigation by the New York Attorney General, unless their attorneys agree convince the state’s highest court to intervene.
A Manhattan judge signed an agreement on Wednesday that requires the Trumps to take affidavits beginning July 15 — a legal term for testimony in court outside of court.
Messages have been sent to the ex-president’s lawyers for comment. The office of Attorney General Letitia James declined to comment, as did the younger Trumps’ attorney Alan Futerfas.
Another Trump son, Eric Trump, made a statement in 2020 however, declined to answer some questions.
The new agreement comes after a series of setbacks to Donald Trump’s efforts to block the three-year investigation into James.
James said the investigation uncovered evidence that Trump’s company exaggerated the value Assets like skyscrapers, golf courses and even his Manhattan penthouse to obtain credit, insurance and tax breaks for land donations. A lawyer for her office told a judge last month evidence could support legal action against the former president, his firm, or both, although the attorney said no decision had been made.
Trump has denounced the investigation as part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.
A state of New York The appeals court ruled on May 26 that Trump was required to submit an affidavitmaintain a lower court’s decision that the Attorney General had “the clear right.” to interview Trump and certain other directors at his company.
Then, on May 27, a federal Judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Trump to obtain a court order preventing James from investigating him.
The lawsuit alleged James, a Democrat, targeted the Republican ex-president for political hostility and violated his rights to free speech and due process. A lawyer for Trump said at the time that the dismissal would be appealed.
James, meanwhile, said Trump had launched “unfounded legal challenges” against her investigation and promised it would continue.
Wednesday’s agreement recognizes that the Trumps can appeal to New York’s top court, the Court of Appeals, to try to overturn the decision requiring their statements.
The former president had ample experience of such interviews during his business career, and he made a statement as recently as last October in a lawsuit by protesters who said his security team beat them up 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 the value of assets to obtain favorable credit terms and tax benefits.
James’ office was also involved in a parallel but separate investigation by the Manhattan Attorney’s Office.
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