Trump Loses ANOTHER Court Decision!
Former President Donald Trump, Donald Jr., and Ivanka must sit for a deposition and answer questions under oath in the New York attorney general's civil investigation into his business practices after a state appeals court ruled Thursday, rejecting his argument that he be excused from testifying because his answers could be used in a parallel criminal probe.
When it comes to former President Donald Trump's track record in court, he could be a candidate for the most defeated litigant in the history of the United States history.
On Thursday, a four-judge panel in the appellate division of the state's trial court upheld Judge Arthur Engoron's February 17 ruling, which enforced subpoenas requiring that Trump and his two eldest children — Ivanka and Donald Jr. — give deposition testimony in Attorney General Letitia James' probe.
In the court's ruling, the decision included the following…
"The existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude civil discovery of related facts. The appellate panel wrote that a party might exercise the privilege against self-incrimination," the appellate panel wrote, citing the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and other legal protections for witnesses.
In March, lawyers for the Trump agreed that they would sit for depositions within 14 days of an appellate panel decision upholding Engoron's ruling. But they are more likely to appeal the decision to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, in hopes of delaying the matter and the Trump's potential testimony indefinitely. However, that strategy may not work. The Appeals and N.Y. State Supreme court could and is likely to quickly decide not to hear any appeal and force Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to show up and do what Eric Trump did, invoke the 5th Amendment 500 times.
N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James praised 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,"
"We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law."
James has said her investigation has uncovered evidence Trump's company, the Trump Organization, used "fraudulent or misleading" valuations of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits. Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. have been executives in the Trump Organization and are among their father's most trusted allies.
The appellate panel, in its ruling, described the investigation as focusing on whether Trump "committed persistent fraud in their financial practices and disclosures."
Last week, the former President paid $110,000 in fines and met several other conditions. He seeks to end a contempt of court order Engoron issued on April 25 after he was slow to respond to another subpoena from James seeking documents and other evidence.
On Monday, James' office said it had subpoenaed Trump's longtime executive assistant, Rhona Graff, and planned to question her under oath next week in the probe.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in New York is expected to rule soon on a lawsuit Trump filed against James in December to shut down her investigation. Trump's lawyers want an injunction to halt the probe. James' office is seeking to throw out the lawsuit. That's not likely to happen, and as a result, the former president is likely going to get handed another loss in court.
At a May 13 hearing in the federal case, a lawyer for James' office said it was "nearing the end" of the probe and that "there's been a substantial amount of evidence" to support a civil enforcement proceeding. However, a final determination hasn't been made.
Since James' investigation is civil, she could bring a lawsuit and seek financial penalties against Trump or his company, or even a ban on them being involved in certain businesses. The facts uncovered in this civil investigation could lead to federal criminal charges.
That was the result this past January when a judge barred ex-drug company CEO Martin Shkreli known as "Pharma Boy," from the pharmaceutical industry for life.
Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka must testify for NY AG