An appeals court ruled that former President Donald Trump and his two adult children must comply with a subpoena as a part of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation of the Trump Organization’s business practices, ABC News reports.
A four-judge panel for the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Trump’s appeal in the case, arguing the subpoena was part of a politically motivated investigation.
“The political campaign and other public statements made by OAG about appellants do not support the claim that OAG initiated, or is using, the subpoenas in this civil investigation to obtain testimony solely for use in a criminal proceeding or in a manner that would otherwise improperly undermine appellants’ privilege against self-incrimination,” the decision said.
Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump must also testify. The investigation is reviewing whether the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading valuations of its holdings in different ways to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage, and tax deductions. New York Attorney General Letitia James applauded the decision handed down today.
“Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings,” James said in a statement on the appeals court ruling.
“We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law,” the attorney general said.
The former President’s lawyers also tried to argue the attorney general is jeopardizing Trump’s right against self-incrimination in the midst of a parallel criminal probe being carried out by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. However, the judges said James had a valid basis for launching an investigation, citing the congressional testimony that Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen gave in 2019, detailing fraudulent practices at Trump’s business.