(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump and two of his adult children must testify under oath as party of New York’s civil probe into the family real estate business, a state appeals court ruled.
The appellate panel in Manhattan on Thursday upheld a lower-court ruling from February, rejecting the Trumps’ argument that sitting for depositions in New York’s civil investigation would put them at risk in a related criminal probe into the Trump Organization.
“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,” the court held. The ruling applies to Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, who have all worked for the company.
The Trumps’ lawyer, Alina Habba, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating potentially fraudulent asset valuations at the Manhattan-based company. Thursday’s ruling is the latest of several in recent months in which judges have ordered Trump and his company to cooperate with her subpoenas.
“Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law.”
The appeals court did not buy the Trumps’ claim that James, a frequent critic of the former president who promised to investigate him while she was campaigning, would abuse civil subpoenas to gather evidence for an ongoing criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
“The political campaign and other public statements made” by James about the Trumps “do not support the claim” that she “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 appeals court said.
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