Former President Donald Trump and his eldest son and eldest daughter have agreed to sit down for the deposits as part of a civil investigation by the New York attorney general’s office next month unless the state’s highest court steps in, according to a condition lifted Wednesday.
Absence of court intervention, former President Trump, Donald Trump Jr. Ivanka Trump will appear to testify beginning July 15, and ending by the following week, the transcript says.
A state appeals court ruled in May that the subpoenas for their testimony were not, as the Trumps argued, part of a politically motivated investigation into how the family evaluated their real estate holdings.
The condition gave Al Trump until Monday to file a moratorium request with the Court of Appeals.
The development came when, at a hearing in the case, the AG’s office accused the former president of sending his investigators on a “wild hunt” during the investigation’s discovery process.
“I am simultaneously frustrated and perplexed by the fact that we are where we are now,” Andrew Amer of the New York AG office said at the hearing on Wednesday. “The Trump Organization is a large, sophisticated real estate firm that is no stranger to litigation. I don’t understand why it is so difficult to get basic information.”
In April, a judge charged Trump with contempt for failing to properly respond to the attorney general’s subpoena over the records.
The Office of the Attorney General is specifically seeking copies of the Trump Organization’s document retention and destruction policies for each division of the company.
“At the end of the day, your honor, this shouldn’t be a wild hunt for key information in the discovery process,” Amer said.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Heba, argued that her client had turned over more than six million pages of documents and said she felt like we were being “held at gunpoint” by investigators.
“Contempt should be cleansed and removed,” Habiba said. Donald Trump gave you everything you need.
Judge Arthur Engoron refused to lift the contempt order Wednesday, and set a deadline next Friday for Trump to comply.
“I felt that the contempt order was necessary to get the defendants, especially Mr. Trump, to comply with his obligations. I felt that because of what I saw as some slowdown or some misunderstanding,” Engoron said. “Leaving the contempt system in place is the simplest and most effective way to get the job done.”
Heba wondered if Trump was still being held because of his identity. But Ingurun insists he left nothing personal from his decisions.
New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, argued that her office found “significant evidence” of fraud in the investigation into how Trump and the Trump Organization value real estate in the state. The investigation is reviewing whether the Trump Organization has used fraudulent or misleading assessments of its properties in various ways to obtain a range of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions.
An appeals court ruled in late May that three members of the Trump family must be present to testify in the case. Trump filed an appeal on June 1.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.