President Donald Trump will now have to testify under oath after a New York appeals court decided to reject his appeal on Thursday in the civil investigation into his businesses as part of Attorney General Letitia James’ probe. He has fought tooth and nail to not have to testify under oath in this case – as it could carry financial penalties.
Trump had argued that he didn’t need to go because his answers could be used in another current criminal investigation by Manhattan’s DA, but he lost the appeal on Thursday. He can still appeal again. Take a look at the breakdown by WUSA9 below.
The court, made up of four judges, kept in place the Feb. 17 ruling by Judge Arthur Engoron to enforce a subpoena against Trump, Ivanka, and Donald Trump Jr. to give their depositions.
“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 appellate panel wrote in summation in reference to the Fifth Amendment.
Attorney General for New York Leticia James praised the ruling. She tweeted that her investigation into the Trumps will continue “undeterred because no one is above the law.”
“Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings,” James said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law.”
She has continuously alleged that the Trumps used “fraudulent or misleading” valuations to get loans and tax benefits. The investigations have focused on whether the Trumps “committed persistent fraud in their financial practices and disclosures,” said the appellate panel.
Trump has called James’ probe a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
On Monday, James issued a subpoena to Rhona Graff, Trump’s executive assistant to force her to testify under oath next week.
Trump sued back previously and attempted to shut down her lawsuit claiming that she has “acted inappropriately” and has acted obsessively toward him for a long time. A federal judge in New York will rule on that soon. James wants the lawsuit thrown out.
The investigation into Trump is civil in nature so James can bring a lawsuit and seek financial penalties against Trump.
Many online have accused James of targeting the former President only for her political gain.
Do you think that Trump is being wrongfully targeted by an activist DA that is trying to make her name?