Trump and his two eldest sons must testify in the New York case, Judge’s rules

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Donald Trump and his two children ordered a New York judge to appear in the testimony within three weeks as part of a swelling investigation into alleged fraud in the valuation of assets belonging to his family business. Was done.

Judgment Judge Arthur Engoron’s enforcement of Trump and his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, to comply with the subpoena is a rapid expansion of legal dangers that are rapidly increasing around the former president. Equivalent.

The family has endeavored to fend off requests for documents, information, and testimony from New York Attorney General Letitia James. She is investigating whether the Trump Organization has used a “fraudulent or misleading” assessment of its assets to attract loans and reduce tax burdens.

After a two-hour hearing on Thursday, Engoron made a frank rebuttal to Trump’s lawyer’s allegation that the former president should not be cross-examined in a civil lawsuit. parallel. If James didn’t summon them, the judge said, “Explicit neglect of duties“.

respond “No matter how powerful they are, no one is allowed to interfere with the pursuit of justice,” James said in the news.

Under the judge’s decision, Trump must testify within 21 days and deliver “Documents and Information” within 14 days. This development is the second serious blow to the former president in a week.

On Monday, the Trump Organization’s longtime accounting firm Mothers USACut off his relationship with the family business, saying he could no longer bear the 10-year annual financial statements he had prepared for the group.

The accountant said he had considered the “whole situation” and came to the conclusion that “we cannot provide new work products” to Trump.

Related: The Trump Organization accountant broke the relationship and called years of application unreliable

Now Trump and his two children must face a cross-examination by James, New York’s chief prosecutor, who has relentlessly pursued suspicions of family financial irregularities. This event may present legal and political challenges to the former president.

If he answers James’s keen question, he runs the risk of potentially involving himself in a Trump account criminal investigation conducted by James in parallel with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.If he defends Amendment Article 5 And keep silence, which may be difficult for him.

In a legal debate before Engoron made his decision, Trump’s lawyer argued that he could not defend his fifth viable without hurting his potential criminal defense. ..

“When he comes in and follows my advice, it’s … I can’t answer these questions without an exemption, because that’s what the law stipulates. And I’ll take the fifth amendment. It’s It’s on every top page of the world’s newspapers. If so, how can I choose a jury? “Trump’s criminal defense counsel, Ronald Fichetti, said.

Politically, deposition can also be a nuisance. In the past, Trump has despised those who are silent under cross-examination. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he ridiculed the practice. If you are innocent, why are you taking Article 5 of the Constitutional Amendment? “

Michael Cohen, a former Vice President of the Trump Organization, said the issue caused problems for his former boss. “Remember Trump’s declaration that only guilty people will sue the fifth. Cohen told the Guardian in response to Engoron’s ruling.

The judge referred to Cohen in his decision, which Cohen called Trump.Cook a bookIn the first place, it triggered an investigation by James.

Cohen spent 3 years in prison He told the Guardian himself about fraud and other crimes. “Only in the world of Trump’s delusions, law enforcement agencies should not be allowed to expel him and his family. Their concerns are unable to tell the truth and run the risk of additional perjury. Due to that. “

Trump has consistently accused Democrat James of investigating as a partisan witch hunt. On Tuesday he re-condemned the investigation, calling it “a fake investigation of a great company that did a great job for New York and beyond.”

Such an aggressive attitude has worked for Trump for years in staring at many of the legal challenges posed to him. But in this case, Thursday’s ruling could breathe new life into the sales of James’ investigation and reduce the likelihood of a simple escape clause.

James’s investigation, combined with its criminal Manhattan equivalent, is now at the top of the league of over-the-top legal issues facing former White House residents.This month’s parental tally shows that Trump is facing a total 19 legal issuesSix of them contain allegations of financial fraud.

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