A New York judge ordered President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr. to sit for sworn deposition testimony before the New York State Attorney General.
The testimony is expected to be related to Trumps’ civil investigation into alleged business fraud. The order was handed down by New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron in response to a request from the state Attorney General.
The court’s ruling said the attorney general has a “clear right” to question under oath the principals of the business entities in question, “including its namesake.” The ruling found that the Attorney General has uncovered “copious evidence of possible financial fraud.”
The order also said that Trump must respond to a subpoena demanding the production of documents and other information within two weeks.
Attorney Alan Futerfas represented the Trump children and said that an appeal of the judge’s ruling is “likely.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James was pleased with the order. She said that justice prevailed and no one would be allowed to stand in the way of justice. She added that no one is “above the law, no matter how powerful they are.”
The primary allegation made by James is that Trump presented fraudulent and exaggerated “Statements of Financial Condition” to misrepresent the actual status of his business finances to manipulate the distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The ruling pointed out that Trump could refuse to answer questions during the ordered depositions under their constitutional rights protected by the Fifth Amendment.
Earlier in the week, Trump’s previous accounting firm disassociated their former President’s connections. The firm wrote in a letter that it advises that the “Statements of Financial Condition” it prepared for Trump between June 30, 2011, and June 30, 2020 “should no longer be relied upon.”
The Trumps must sit for their sworn depositions within two weeks unless the order is successfully appealed.