Donald Trump must testify under oath in civil investigation, judges rule

New York's attorney general is investigating how he valued real estate holdings.

May 26, 2022, 11:57 AM

Former President Donald Trump and two of his adult children must sit for a deposition as part of the New York attorney general's civil investigation into how the family real estate business valued its holdings, an appellate court ruled Thursday.

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump must also testify in the case.

The judges rejected the Trump argument that the subpoena was part of a politically motivated investigation and precluded by a corresponding criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

"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.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio.
Joe Maiorana/AP, FILE

New York Attorney General Letitia James has argued her office has found "significant evidence" of fraud in the investigation into how Trump and the Trump Organization valued real estate holdings in the state. 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.

"Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings," James said in a statement Thursday. "We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law."

The Trumps have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

The former president, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have all ignored subpoenas issued in the case.

The parallel investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has already resulted in charges of tax fraud against the company and Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Donald Trump called those charges a "disgrace" and "shameful" and said Weisselberg, who has worked for the Trump Organization for 48 years, a "tremendous man."

ABC News' John Santucci and Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

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