Not Winning: Obama Appointee Gives New York Attorney General Huge Win Over President Trump

By Charles Susswein | Sunday, 29 May 2022 05:15
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Former President Donald Trump will have to testify under oath as part of the New York Attorney General's Office's probe of his business practices after a state appellate court ruled against him Thursday.

The ruling by a panel of four judges upheld a choice by New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, who announced in February that Trump and two of his children had to obey subpoenas calling for them to sit for depositions. Engoron had recently ordered that Trump was in contempt for failing to submit documents.

Trump had claimed that they could not be compelled to testify because their reactions could be used against them in a criminal investigation and that broke his constitutional rights.

"The existence of a criminal investigation does not preclude civil discovery of related facts, at which a party may exercise the privilege against self-incrimination," Thursday's ruling from the Supreme Court's Appellate Division announced.

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Furthermore, the panel held: "[t]he civil investigation was initiated in March 2019 after testimony before Congress by Michael Cohen ... in which Cohen alleged that respondent The Trump Organization Inc. had issued fraudulent financial statements."

"This sequence of events suggests that the investigation was lawfully initiated at its outset and well-founded, apart from any parallel criminal investigation undertaken by the District Attorney."

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"Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," James announced.

back in January, James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's probe into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding claiming that the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

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Furthermore, a statement from the attorney general's office announced that while James "has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action, the grounds for pursuing the investigation are self-evident."

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Last month, A New York Supreme Court judge held former President Donald Trump in civil contempt on Monday, ordering him to pay $10,000 every day until he fully complies with James's subpoena in her investigation of the Trump Organization.

James has been seeking many financial records after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen explained to Congress that Trump had exaggerated the values of various assets on announcements in order to get more advantageous terms for loans and for tax purposes.

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The former president can appeal this latest choice to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals.

The investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James has been exploring records belonging to Trump and the Trump Organization and has concentrated on suspicion that the former president provided a wrong valuation of his assets in order to secure more favorable positions about loans and taxes.

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