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Donald Trump Loses Appeal, Must Testify In New York Civil Probe

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump has lost his appeal and now he must testify under oath in a New York civil investigation into his business practices.

Judge Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 17 ruling which ordered the former president and his two eldest children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to testify in Attorney General Letitia James’ probe, was upheld on Thursday by a four-judge panel in the appellate division of the state’s trial court, The Associated Press reported.

“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 said in reference to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“The civil investigation was initiated in March 2019 after testimony before Congress by Michael Cohen, … in which Cohen alleged that respondent The Trump Organization, Inc. had issued fraudulent financial statements,” it said.

“This sequence of events suggests that the investigation was lawfully initiated at its outset and well-founded, apart from any parallel criminal investigation undertaken by the District Attorney,” it said.

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Lawyers for the Trumps agreed in March that they would sit for depositions within 14 days of an appellate panel decision upholding Engoron’s ruling. They could also appeal the decision to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, delaying the matter and the Trumps’ potential testimony indefinitely.

A message seeking comment was left with lawyers for the Trumps.

James lauded the ruling, which came just two weeks after the appellate panel heard oral arguments in the case. She tweeted that her investigation “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,” she said. “We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law.”

In January a video that could do some serious damage to the case against Trump was shared online.

The video shows New York’s current Democrat Attorney General Letitia James vowing to bring down Trump when she was campaigning for the job.

She bragged about, and campaigned on, saying that she would take on the sitting President of the United States, who was Trump, if New Yorkers voted for her and she won.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Eric F. Trump (@erictrump)


She fulfilled her promise last week when she filed a motion to obtain a court order to have three Trump family members appear for sworn testimony, backing her subpoenas of them.

Eric Trump shared the video of James promises to take down Trump on his Instagram page.

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“This is not the United States Legal System – this is third-world prosecutorial misconduct. Promising to target a political opponent and their family before even entering office – it’s hard to believe this is America. Letitia James may go down as the most politically corrupt Attorney General in New York history,” he said in the caption of the video.

“Stay Tuned… we have sued her for her unethical behavior and a judge will see every one of these videos, her viciousness and the pure malice of her actions and statements.

“More to come: Tomorrow may just be a video of James ad-libbing the song “I will survive” while interjecting hate speech about Donald Trump…. very common for the top law enforcement official in the State of New York,” the former president’s son said.

“This garbage erodes Americans’ confidence in the legal system and it will stop. Thank you to everyone who has sent videos of her – we seem to get new ones almost every day. #KeepThemComing,” he said.

In the video James was seen saying “the days of this president are numbered, “we will rise up together and we will resist this president” and “bring him down.”

After becoming attorney general she was asked by talk show host Samantha Bee “Can we actually get him?” To which James responded with laughter and then said “we’re not her to get anone.”

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