Judge: Eric Trump must give NY deposition before election

Clay Curtis
September 24, 2020

Eric Trump's lawyers argued that Eric Trump should not be compelled to appear until after the election.They wrote in a memo, "We can not allow the requested interview to go forward ... pursuant to those rights afforded to every individual under the Constitution". Trump's lawyers had requested to delay his deposition until after the election so he could campaign for his father. "Accordingly, this court hereby orders Eric Trump to appear for his deposition no later than October 7, 2020".

James went to court to compel Eric Trump and other business associates to testify and turn over documents as part of a civil investigation into whether the family's company, the Trump Organization, lied about the value of assets including a suburban New York City estate.

Justice and the rule of law prevailed today.

State Judge Arthur Engoron said Eric Trump, an executive at the family's Trump Organization, had no legal basis to postpone a subpoena seeking his deposition testimony under oath, concluding that neither the probe nor the court were "bound by the timelines of the national election".

"The court's order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump", she said.

"As the world knows, there's an election going on in about four weeks in this country, maybe five weeks", Futerfas told Engoron.

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Attorney general James sought court intervention after Mr Trump's lawyers abruptly canceled an interview with investigators that had been planned for late July.

James has been investigating the Trump Organization for almost two years-based on congressional testimony provided by former Trump family confidant, attorney and friend Michael Cohen in early 2019. In its initial court filing, James' office said a professional appraisal done at the time determined that Seven Springs was worth $56.5 million prior to the donation.

This investigation is similar to but distinct from the criminal probe now being run by Manhattan DA Cy Vance.

Naham points out that Vance's investigation of Trump goes beyond hush money payments made by Cohen, the president's former personal attorney.

In August of this year, James filed a series of public and sealed court documents against the Trump Organization and Eric Trump over the Cohen fraud allegations. Vance's office, Naham notes, has also been well-aware of a "series of bombshell reports from the Washington Post about the 45th president's alleged wealth-inflation and the Trump Organization's alleged tax-dodging strategies - encompassing possible insurance fraud and bank fraud". James asked that a state court force the defendants to comply with extant subpoenas demanding the release of sensitive financial information that may have been used to commit fraud.

Eric Trump offered to sit for a deposition after Election Day, citing a busy travel schedule on behalf of the campaign.

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