Former US President Donald Trump’s lawyers say he will testify in a new investigation on one condition
Former US President Donald Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, have been ordered to comply with previous subpoenas issued for their testimonies in New York state’s civil investigation into the Trump Organization.
On Thursday, Arthur Engoron, a New York State judge ruled that Trumps must comply within 21 days with subpoenas issued by Letitia James (New York Attorney General). The judge’s ruling came after two hours of testimony from the state and Trump’s lawyers, and he ultimately favored the state, saying James has the “clear right”You can call the Trump family to demand depositions.
James claims her investigation has found evidence that Trump’s company used “fraudulent or misleading”Valuations of assets to be used for tax loopholes or secure loans. The attorney general’s civil investigation was opened in 2019 following testimony from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. One of the former president’s sons, Eric Trump, was previously ordered to testify, invoking his Fifth Amendment right hundreds of times.
The question of whether the former president will be testifying remains unanswered, since his lawyers argue that he is only willing to do so under one condition.
“If she wants sworn testimony from my client, he’s entitled to immunity. He gets immunity for what he says, or he says nothing,” Trump’s criminal defense lawyer, Ronald Fischetti, said at Thursday’s hearing.
Trump’s legal team has argued that he can not be compelled to testify for a civil investigation when there is also an ongoing criminal investigation into his business unless he is offered immunity.
Rischetti stated that his client should not be granted immunity and would advise him to plead the fifth. This would make it nearly impossible for anyone else to pick a juror for any potential criminal case.
Trump’s team argued that calling Trump and his children for depositions is a strategy to aid the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s criminal investigation, rather than ordering them in front of a grand jury, which would grant them immunity in their testimony.
Trump’s team has previously argued James’ investigation is politically motivated and the former president is the victim of “selective prosecution.”