NY Attorney General Can Interview Trump and 2 Kids, Judge Rule

New York Attorney General Can Interview Donald J. Trump and his two adult children were sworn in as part of a civil investigation into his business practices, a judge ruled on Thursday, rejecting the former president’s attempt to block the election. interrogation.

An investigation by the attorney general, Letitia James, and a parallel criminal investigation led by a Manhattan district attorney are looking into whether Mr. concessional loan or not.

Lawyers for the Trump family have sought to bar Ms. James, a Democrat, from interviewing Mr. Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump. They have argued that she has a political bias against Mr. Trump and is inappropriately using her civil investigation to support the district attorney’s criminal investigation, which she is also conducting. participation.

But the judge, Arthur F. Engoron, ruled in favor of Ms. James’s attorneys, who asked the former president and two adult children to be interviewed next month.

The ruling does not mean that Ms James will automatically get the answers she is looking for. Mr. Trump and his children can invoke their constitutional right not to press charges against them, as Mr. Trump’s other adult son, Eric Trump, has done. questioned by the attorney general’s office in October 2020. The Trump family can also appeal the decision.

The judge’s decision follows a fiery virtual hearing in State Supreme Court on Thursday in which lawyers for Mr. Trump and the attorney general laid out their cases. On a few occasions, Mr. Trump’s lawyers became so heated that Judge Engoron and his law clerk called for a timeout – a “T” in the hand, a common gesture at a sporting event. than in the courtroom.

Although Ms. James has indicated in court papers that she has obtained substantial evidence against the Trump family business – she has accused the Trump Organization of engaging in activities.” deceptive or misleading” – she said she needed to question Mr. Trump and her children before determining her next move.

Mr Trump and his children sought to block questioning, and Ms James responded in a court filing last month, arguing there was “high demand” for the testimony of three family members. . She said that by interrogating them, she would be able to determine who was responsible for the errors and omissions the organization made in its financial documents.

Because Ms. James’ investigation is civil, she cannot be criminally charged. If she finds evidence of criminal misconduct, she can file a lawsuit against Mr. Trump, his organization or others involved in the business. In her petition last month, Ms. James said that her attorneys had yet to make a final decision on the case but argued that “the grounds for conducting the investigation are indisputable.”

On Monday, Ms. James issue a letter in which Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, severed ties with the former president and withdrew a decade’s worth of his financial statements. Those financial statementsincluding various disclaimers noting that they have not been audited, are the focus of both civil and criminal investigations into Mr.

The criminal investigation similarly focuses on whether Mr. Trump used those claims to mislead his lenders about the value of his hotels, golf clubs and other properties. no, is being led by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, who inherited it when he took it. office in January.

Last year, under Mr. Bragg’s predecessor, Manhattan prosecutors separately indicted the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, accusing them of conducting a tax evasion conspiracy. extends years by compensating employees with special benefits such as apartment and luxury rents. car.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers say the criminal investigation, which also involves investigators from Ms. James’s office, will not benefit if the attorney general’s office questions Mr. Trump and his children in the investigation. civil investigation. They say Ms James will be able to obtain information valuable to the criminal investigation without having to give family members the immunity they would get if they testified before a criminal jury. the. (Under New York law, witnesses who appear before a grand jury receive immunity from prosecution on the subject of their testimony.)

And even though family members declined to answer questions as part of Ms James’ civil investigation – as they are allowed to do under the Fifth Amendment – the lawyers said that decision. can have negative consequences for a criminal case, making headlines with the news will make it difficult to select a jury. Once seated, the criminal jury will be instructed not to refuse to answer questions against the Trump family.

In a civil trial, refusing to answer questions could harm the Trumps: Their silence could be used against them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/nyregion/trump-investigation-letitia-james.html NY Attorney General Can Interview Trump and 2 Kids, Judge Rule

Fry Electronics Team

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