NEW YORK – Eric Trump will have to testify in a New York investigation into his family business practices ahead of the November presidential election, a judge ruled Wednesday, rejecting his lawyers’ claims that his “extravagant travel schedule” on the campaign trail should be delayed.
State Judge Arthur Engoran, the son of U.S. President Donald Trump’s middle organization, a Trump organization executive, must abide by a subpoena to give a deposit under oath by Oct. 7, the court ruled “does not adhere to the national election deadline.” “
New York Attorney General Letitia James went to court to execute Eric Trump’s argument after his lawyers abruptly canceled a July interview with investigators during his office investigation into whether Trump’s lied about the value of his assets or tax benefits in order to get loans.
Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Development and Acquisition Agency, first worked with Subpona in May. “Justice and the rule of law prevail today,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement after the verdict.
“Clearly, we do not allow any organization or individual to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or dictate the parameters of a legitimate investigation,” James said. “None of the orders given by the court today make it clear that it is not above the law, not even an organization or person named Trump.”
A message was posted with Eric Trump’s lawyer Alan Futurfas seeking comment on the verdict.
In a case filed in court last week, he said his lawyers were ready to abide by the subpoena, but only after the November 3 election. In addition to the scheduling differences surrounding his father’s re – election campaign, they wanted his deposit to not be used for political purposes.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Futurfas said he was “happy to sit down and resign,” but as part of a civil investigation, James’ office said they needed more time before he could testify to review the thousands of pages of documents he wanted. .
“As the world knows, elections are taking place in this country in four weeks, maybe five weeks,” Futurfas argued. “Eric Trump is an important and integral part of it, and he only travels seven days a week.”
Attorney General’s Office attorney Matthew Colangelo argued that there was no legal basis for Eric Trump’s lawyers to request a delay and that they were doing so “because of personal inconvenience to the witness.” He argued that the general consent deadline found by the courts was five days.
Eric Trump’s lawyers have proposed four dates to testify, the first being November 19, after James’ office had to interview other witnesses during the investigation. Eric Trump changed lawyers in mid-July, Futurfas said, and needed to be delayed.
Eric Trump did not attend Wednesday’s hearing via Skype. Eric, the third of Trump’s five children, called the campaign “Evangelicals for Trump: Praise, Prayer, and Patriotism” Wednesday in Glendale, Arizona.
James went to court to testify and falsify documents with Eric Trump and other business associates as part of a civil investigation into whether the family organization, the Trump organization, lied about the value of assets, including the suburban New York City estate.
James’ office said investigators have not yet confirmed whether any law has been violated.
James began the investigation in March 2019 after President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress that the president had repeatedly increased the value of his assets in order to obtain more favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage.
James researchers are examining how the Trump organization and its agents have estimated the value of Seven Springs, a 212-acre (86-hectare) estate north of Manhattan, with the intent to turn it into a golf club bought by President Trump in 1995.
After that project failed to make progress, the big Trump facilitated a 158-acre (60-hectare) conservation land trust in 2016 to qualify for income tax deduction. Prior to the donation, Seven Springs was valued at $ 56.5 million, while the value of the land being protected in lieu of tax deduction was $ 21.1 million, the James Office said.
Cohen said in his congressional statement that when Trump tried to buy the NFL’s buffalo bills in 2014, Seven Springs reported financial value to Deutsche Bank as $ 291 million as of 2012.
The Attorney General’s Office is also looking into the conservation facility that donated a portion of the Trump National Golf Club property near Los Angeles in 2014 in lieu of tax deductions, and the handling of tax issues related to the more than $ 100 million loan from Trump. The International Hotel and Tower Chicago were forgiven between 2010 and 2012.
Investigators said they were unable to confirm whether any of the forgiven debts were recognized as taxable income, according to court filings.
President Trump dismissed various investigations into his White House affair last year, saying James and Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic government of New York, “were able to find me harassing all my New York businesses.”