Lawyers for former Presidents Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump who were subpoenaed on December 1 demanded that the judge revoke the subpoena to testify, saying that New York Attorney General Letia James is seeking to “circumvent the entire grand jury process. “. They argued that allowing testimony would set a “dangerous precedent.”
Trump’s lawyers argued in court documents that James is trying to use the civil investigations her office has been conducting since 2019 to assist the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (known as DANY), which she joined earlier this year. Criminal investigation.
They wrote that the testimony in the civil case was “actually the same as the testimony of DANY, but it did not provide the constitutional protection provided to every witness through the grand jury process.” The witnesses summoned before the grand jury of New York State received their testimony. Transaction immunity, unless they take an oath, they will not be prosecuted. They argued that James tried to circumvent these rights by seeking testimony in a civil case, which could then be used by criminal prosecutors. If they do not testify, in civil cases, the jury can testify against the defendant or make unfavorable inferences.
“This is a fairly transparent strategy. By trying to get both parties to play, Ms. James was able to choose her investigative method in a planned way-civil or criminal-for example, using the Fifth Amendment claims and obtaining what they wrote, in “Unfavorable inferences in civil investigations”, adding that if there were no criminal investigations, the Trumps “are likely to be inclined to testify.”
The Trumps’ lawyers requested a hearing to demonstrate their position.
The subpoenas of Trump’s children were made public in a court document on Monday in which the judge set a briefing schedule for handling disputes. CNN monthly reported that Trump himself had been subpoenaed to testify. James’ office will have two weeks to respond to the motion to withdraw the subpoena, and then Trump’s lawyers will have time to respond, which means that no decision will be made on the subpoena for at least one month.
Eric Trump, the company’s executive vice president, was previously subpoenaed and provided testimony at the end of 2020. Since then, James has joined the criminal investigation, which covers the same topics as the civil investigation, and is investigating the accuracy of financial statements. The Trump Organization used when seeking financing.
Trump’s filing on Monday included more than two dozen exhibits, including tweets and transcripts of James’ public statements to support their assertion that she played a dual role.
The Trumps have asked the judge to revoke their public subpoenas or put them on hold until the criminal investigation is completed. The subpoena is seeking various forms of communication and financial statements dating back to 2010 prepared by accountants in the Trump family.
The subpoena also seeks records related to the Trump Hotel in Chicago and conservation easements or tax incentives, which include the family’s Seven Springs Estate in New York. In addition, the subpoena required all communication with Forbes magazine, which wrote articles about Trump’s wealth, and records related to its insurance coverage and plan updates.
The Trump family’s counterattack marks a new showdown in the ongoing investigation of the Trump Organization and its finances. Trump’s lawyers have fought for subpoenas for documents and testimony in civil and criminal investigations, and twice issued grand jury summons to the U.S. Supreme Court to summon his long-term accounting firm.
The authorities have the upper hand in the subpoena fight, at least in the public lawsuits, but the dispute has caused delays.
On Monday night, James’ office issued a statement in response to the motion, stating that “Even though their names are different, they must follow the same rules as everyone else. These delaying tactics will not prevent us from following facts or the law, which is why we will require The court forced Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to swear to our office to testify. Our investigation will continue unhindered.”
When the civil subpoena was issued, prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office interviewed other witnesses in recent weeks and brought other witnesses to the grand jury.
Earlier on Monday, a Trump lawyer reiterated his statement that the investigation was politically motivated.
“Letitia James is the most unethical attorney general in this country’s history,” said Alina Habba, a lawyer representing Trump. “The way she weaponized her office through this political persecution has exceeded all the limits of procuratorial standards and violated basic constitutional rights. Her actions pose a threat to our democracy, and I plan to make her bear the greatest responsibility. “
This story was updated with other developments on Monday.
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