State’s highest court rules against ex-president, clearing the way for a deposition next month in an investigation into his business practices
Donald Trump’s last-ditch attempt to avoid testifying in the state attorney general’s civil probe of his business operations was rejected by the state’s highest court, clearing the way for his deposition next month.
Following an intermediate appellate court’s judgment, last month enforcing a subpoena for Trump’s testimony, the state’s court of appeals concluded there was no “substantial constitutional question” that would justify its intervention in the case, according to The Guardian.
The court also denied Trump’s lawyers’ plea to delay the subpoenas, stating that it would be “academic” to do so because it wasn’t hearing his appeal in the first place.
Last week, Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., agreed to begin answering questions under oath on July 15 unless the court of appeals interfered.
Trump’s lawyer was given a message seeking comment on Tuesday’s ruling. Alan Futerfas, Ivanka’s and Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, declined to comment. A message was also sent to a spokesperson for Attorney General Letitia James.
The state’s trial court’s appellate division ruled on May 26 that Trump must take a deposition, supporting a previous court’s decision that James’ office had “the clear right” to interview Trump and other officials in his company, the Trump Organization.
James claims that her three-year research revealed evidence that the Trump Organization inflated the value of assets including skyscrapers, golf courses, and even his Manhattan penthouse in order to obtain loans, insurance, and tax benefits in exchange for land contributions.
Last month, a lawyer for her office informed a judge that evidence may support legal action against the former president, his company, or both, but that no decision had been made.
Trump has slammed the inquiry as part of a politically motivated “witch-hunt” against him.