(New York) A panel of judges on Thursday ruled that former President Donald Trump must answer questions according to the standard at a New York state civil hearing on his business policies.
Posted at 1:00 p.m.
A panel of four appeals judges upheld a February 17 ruling by Manhattan judge Arthur Engoron to enforce subpoenas on Mr Trump and his two children. They will be called to testify at the trial, which will be led by Attorney General Letitia James.
Donald Trump appealed in the hope that the decision would be overturned. His lawyers argued that forcing their client and his children to testify violated their constitutional rights, as their answers would later be used in parallel criminal investigations.
“The existence of a criminal trial does not preclude civil disclosure of facts relating to it, for which a party may exercise its right not to plead guilty,” the judges cited the Fifth Amendment, defending themselves against indictment.
Letitia James, a Democrat, said in her inquiry she found evidence that the Trump organization was using ‘false and misleading’ assessments of its assets, such as golf courses and skyscrapers, to obtain banking and tax benefits.
The Attorney General applauded the decision, which came two weeks after the panel heard the case. On Twitter, she wrote, “The investigation is ongoing because no one is above the law.”
“The courts have once again ruled that Donald Trump must comply with the requirements of our legal inquiry into his business dealings,” the prosecutor said in a written statement. “We will continue to follow the facts in this case so that no one escapes the law.”
Donald Trump, a Republican, has denied all allegations against him and described the prosecutor’s search as a “politically motivated” witch hunt.
Representatives of the Trump family have not yet responded to requests for comment. The Trump family can still go to the New York State Supreme Court in the hope that the verdict will be in their favor.